What’s more, the numerous and varied maritime activities that have grown up around traditional shipping operations enjoy strong and often leading positions in the international market. The Norwegian Government’s vision is for Norway to be among the world’s leading maritime nations and a supplier of the most innovative and environmentally friendly solutions for the future.
Since the 1970s, when petroleum operations first began on the Norwegian continental shelf, Norwegian maritime companies have targeted the offshore sector. Advanced assignments in tough weather and under difficult working conditions have led to the development of what is now the world’s most technologically advanced offshore fleet. A strong domestic market has also laid the foundation for companies to take their expertise abroad. Today, more than half the revenue of Norwegian maritime offshore companies is generated from operations outside the Norwegian continental shelf. The Norwegian maritime industry will have a central role to play when resources in deeper and even more challenging waters are to be explored in a sustainable manner.
The Norwegian maritime industry is a complete cluster comprising leading shipping companies, shipbuilding yards, equipment manufacturers, designers, service providers, universities, research and development centres and regulatory bodies. The Norwegian maritime industry accounted for 5.5% of Norway’s GDP in 2009. The Norwegian maritime industry is Norway’s second largest export industry, after the oil and gas sector.
Sea transport is a cost-effective, reliable and environmentally friendly mode of transport. Some 90% of world trade is transported by sea, and shipping accounts for 2.7% of global CO2 emissions. Only 40 % of trade between European countries is transported by sea. However, a single vessel has the capacity to replace several hundred trucks, thus reducing congestion and the risk of accident and pollution, as well as being a more cost effective mode of transport. It is a common goal of the European Union and the Norwegian authorities to ensure that a greater proportion of goods are transported by sea.
Modern fleet with innovative solutions
The Norwegian fleet is one of the most modern in the world. Norwegian shipping companies are engaged in all shipping segments, and have a particularly strong position in specialised shipping such as transport of petroleum products, chemicals, gas, paper, vehicles and rolling stock (ro-ro) and offshore shipping.
The Norwegian maritime cluster is at the forefront of efforts to develop new, innovative solutions. Norwegian shipowners, for example, are spearheading the development of gas-powered ships and the use of fuel cells as an alternative energy source on board. Continuous efforts are being made throughout the industry to further improve engines, hulls and propellers with a view to increasing energy efficiency and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
The Norwegian Shipowners' Association
Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, Maritime department