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Inspections and repairs risk being sidelined for revenue

Drop in marine services observed in Southeast Asia from shipowners’ juggling balance sheets

In 2019, a total of 516 vessels totalling 28 million dwt reportedly drydocked at Singapore shipyards for paint jobs, but it dwindled to 296 ships in 2020 and 316 in 2021 as the world battled the pandemic. Similar shortfalls are forecasted at repair yards across Southeast Asia.

Revenue took precedence
Bill Phua, Nippon Paint Marine (Singapore)’s Managing Director remarked, “We expected the number of vessels drydocking in the Asia Pacific region for new coatings to be 680-800, slightly higher from the previous 2 years. However it was only 60-70 per cent of the number of vessels that docked in 2019, which had a combined dwt approaching 76 million.”

It appeared that high freight rates and ongoing workforce limitations from border restrictions and measures are expected to result in Southeast Asia’s ship repair capacity falling by more than 25 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels. Phua concluded that safety protocols had the greatest impact on operations – after visits to shipyards in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Middle East.

“There is this limitation in place, restricting some yards’ achieving full capacity. High freight rates are also expected to continue to affect repair volumes, as shipowners postpone scheduled drydockings to keep vessels trading. It does create planning problems, especially at Chinese repair yards with very strict quarantine protocols in place. Drydockings are taking considerably longer. We are observing ships diverting to Vietnam and Dubai,” he said.

Efficient maintenance can help prolong vessel lives. While balance sheets are important, regular maintenance is an investment that will not only ensure continual usability, but also ensure safety. Marine Online has a comprehensive suite of marine services across the globe executed by its authorised service providers at competitive rates.

Marine Online Media Team
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