At the end of January, we received the results that form the basis for analyses in this year’s Outlook Report. Here we saw an industry with brighter prospects, heading into a normalized year after two years marked by the corona pandemic. Only a few weeks after the survey, the picture has changed dramatically.

The national security picture was abruptly dominated by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The attack is a gross violation of international law and involves a dramatic development for global security and stability. The war creates a completely new security situation in Europe, with consequences that are difficult to predict today.

Extensive economic sanctions and countermeasures will affect both the security situation and the world economy for some time to come. Forecasts for the coming year are consequently characterized by great uncertainty – especially with regard to energy policy, economic expectations for the year, and the international picture.

Shipping is by its nature a cyclical industry that is accustomed to adapting to rapid shifts in its surroundings. This year’s Outlook Report shows that the industry is still able to adapt quickly.

Following two tough years with the pandemic, the signs are pointing in the right direction. Fewer ships are in layup. Shipowners have increased revenues and there are cautious expectations of improved profitability for the coming year. In the next few years, shipowners plan to build 162 ships and eight rigs. All these vessels will be built with technology that reduces emissions, and nine out of ten shipowners believe they will be able to deliver climate-neutral solutions in line with the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association’s ambitions for the future.

Seaborne transport is already the most climate-friendly and energy-efficient mode of transport available, and the Norwegian maritime industry is leading the way in making the industry even greener.

The key lies in the experience and competence found in the Norwegian maritime cluster. Over the years we have learned how to utilize the ocean’s resources, and now we are embarking on a new era of energy production at sea. Offshore wind can become our new industrial epoch and a key element in meeting future energy challenges. If we are to succeed in this as we have done in the past with oil and gas activities, we will once again need robust and predictable framework conditions. We have had this for decades under different administrations. Norwegian governments have seen the value of developing the Norwegian maritime sector. The Hurdal platform gives us reason to believe that the new government will do the same.

We are used to changing as the world around us changes. And we are accustomed to being in the forefront. Norwegian shipping and the maritime industry will continue to take the lead.

Harald Solberg, 
Administrerende direktør
Norges Rederiforbund