Norway has a unique position in the global maritime industry through its concentration of some of the world’s leading ship owners, shipping companies, shipyards, ship equipment companies and a whole range of specialized maritime services.
Norway counts for less than 0,1 % of the world’s population, but is a maritime super power. Norwegian ship owners control 7 per cent of the global fleet, and have the second largest offshore fleet in the world, after the US.
The fleet is one of the most modern in the world, and the shipping companies are engaged in all shipping segments, and have a particularly strong position in specialized shipping such as transport of petroleum products, chemicals, gas, paper, vehicles and rolling stock (ro-ro) and offshore shipping.
The Norwegian maritime sector is based on solid experience and knowledge, and has a competitive advantage in the market for advanced technical solutions and high quality products. This advantage is a result of the knowledge and competence built through generations as a seafaring nation.
The Norwegian maritime sector comprises 7 500 companies, 110 000 employees, a turnover of 410 billion NOK and approx. 10 per cent of the national wealth creation.
Maritime businesses are to be found along the entire Norwegian coast, from Finnmark in the North to Østfold in the South-East. During the past 10–20 years the industry has become more and more concentrated in local, specialized clusters.
Norway has a solid base of expertise in the maritime sector, excellent universities, and strong clusters, science parks and business incubators, which provides the basis for a unique expertise in maritime activities and represents a major potential for innovation. The access to competence is vital to maintaining and developing competitiveness and value creation. In the maritime clusters, practical experience from the sea, linked with research based knowledge, is a key to technology development and innovation throughout the value chain.
The maritime clusters are at the forefront of efforts to develop new, innovative solutions. Norwegian shipowners are, for example, 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.