Michel van Roozendaal, the president of Finnish ship equipment giant MacGregor, wants shipping to grow up. In a frank interview with Maritime CEO, van Roozendaal, an aerospace engineer by training, argues that shipping needs to properly embrace series construction if it is to enjoy true technological change.
“The industry must grow up and become more technically mature and robust,” says van Roozendaal, who’s headed up MacGregor, part of the Cargotec empire, for the last four years.
Warming to his theme, van Roozendaal explains: “Shipbuilding is a perpetual repetition of building a prototype. Very few vessels are exact copies of another. That makes it a little bit of an improvisation and makes it harder for technology to make an impact and to be used more efficiently.”
Remarkably one in two deepsea cargo ships today feature MacGregor equipment. The diverse Scandinavian company is involved in propulsion, navigation and deck handling.
Van Roozendaal envisions that by 2030 ships will be more advanced tech-wise and commoditised on a positive basis, whereby ships are built in a far longer series, meaning it will make greater sense to invest in more ambitious technology.
One very notable area of business that has seen revenues climb massively over the past year has been MacGregor’s Cargo Boosts, a service it has been offering to enlarge exisiting boxships. Boxships of 8,000 teu and above have been modified with a better loading pattern to add up to 15% extra capacity on existing ships. More than 100 container vessels have so far received the MacGregor supersizing treatment, with plans to offer a similar service to breakbulk ships soon.
MacGregor’s diverse service offering is set to be expanded shortly with its takeover of Norwegian maritime equipment manufacturer, TTS, set to be completed this quarter.