May/June Edition Hits the Streets: Trends in Shipbuilding

By MarEx 2012-12-17 13:31:00

The May/June 2012 Shipbuilding edition of The Maritime Executive, featuring Signal International, has hit the streets. 

From the Publisher 

by Tony Munoz, Publisher & Editor-in-chief, The Maritime Executive 

Shipbuilding is expected to be difficult in 2012 as new orders are projected to decline by ten percent from 367 million tons in 2011. Last year South Korea reemerged as the global leader with its high-tech manufacturing processes and led the way with nearly 40 percent of the world’s tonnage. But competition is getting tougher as the emerging economies of the Philippines, Vietnam, India and Brazil claim a larger share of the global orderbook.

While the U.S. shipbuilding sector produces about only nine percent of the world’s tonnage, Signal International, headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, has invested about $40 million revamping its Orange, Texas yard. Chairman, President & CEO Dick Marler has put the company on the fast track to profitability by his innovative approach to “stationization” and Continuous Flow Manufacturing techniques. Marler and Signal are impressive shipbuilders, so catch up on the U.S. manufacturing sector in this edition’s featured Case Study and Executive Interview.

In “Power Shift,” Wendy Laursen reviews trends in the global shipbuilding industry with an important essay on China, Europe, the U.S. and the emerging markets. It’s a must-read. Wendy also contributed an interesting article on flags and classification, which deals with port states, ship registries and ship-audit schemes. Barry Parker wrote another excellent article for this edition and said “It’s not easy getting loans” in the shipbuilding sector. Where are the banks? And Art Garcia pens two great articles with contributions on naval architects, who are just doing fine, thank you, and shipyard staffing, where there are lots of jobs but not enough qualified workers. Really? Meanwhile, Kathy Smith crafts a thoughtful feature on the otherwise dry subject of pumps and valves in “Mind Your Plumbing.”

The Law of the Sea Convention resurfaces as the U.S. takes another shot at approving the 1982 U.N. law. Larry Kiern evaluates the convention and its history and the U.S. pushback on the ongoing debate, which began in 1973 during the second Nixon Administration. Dr. Economides and his coauthor Claudio Steuer write a fascinating article on another source of energy captured in wells already being worked. Marine compressed gas remains an economically viable resource which can optimize well production through the use of an innovative new technology. Read all about it!

Senior Editor Jack O’Connell asks an age-old question, “Are Annual Reports Dead?” Once a powerful marketing tool, annual reports appear to be going the way of newspapers, but the companies that issue them are publicly traded, SEC-regulated entities and investors need insights into their operations. Speaking of listed companies, MarEx recently caught up with Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat plc, and learned about its expansion and huge investment in Global Xpress, the next generation of broadband.

In this edition’s Executive Achievement feature, MarEx is pleased to review an employee-owned and customer-driven company. Steve Hale, President and CEO of Gulf Copper, shared some great insights with Jack O’Connell. Finally, “Picking off Prominent Picaroons” (how’s that for a title?) by Timothy Coleman and Brittany Minder of the Lint Center for National Security Studies is a fascinating article on maritime piracy and one way to capture the leaders of this high-seas scourge.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already mid-2012. But while the year is passing quickly, the maritime industry has stabilized and the shipbuilding sector has a strong contingent of emerging nations which are building ships and asking clients around the world to work with them. Competition is always good, but technological quality is critical as companies invest in highly important capital assets while fewer mariners work the ships. All of us here at MarEx thank you again for your support.

Tony Munoz can be contacted at with comments, input and questions on this editorial or any other piece in this magazine. The Maritime Executive welcomes your participation in our editorial content.

For more on trends in shipbuilding, check out the latest edition of The Maritime Executive: 


Executive Achievement: Steve Hale 
President & CEO, Gulf Copper & Manufacturing

Picking off Prominent Picaroons 

Power Shift 

Wanted: Naval Architects 

…and more!




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