Introduction

The Essex Shipbuilding industry is as diverse as its production.

Cultural and geographic differences support the various demands of a truly global shipping industry ever more competitive with a near constant search for economies of scale and cheaper operation.

At the extreme this desire to operate cheaper than the next ship owner results in tragedy and punctuates the rulebooks forever and a day.

Flags of convenience and the never-ending criticism of classification societies, flag States and the various administrations, supposedly there to enforce global agreements on safety and pollution, go seemingly unchecked or unheeded.

In the meantime our Essex Shipbuilding industries maintain a level of professionalism rarely criticised. On the commercial side pencils are sharpened and despite being surrounded by inflation, newbuilding costs seem to stabilise or fall.

Conversions, particularly in the cruise sector, have become big business whilst repairs, maintenance and annual dockings are always under the spotlight by owners keen to save a few bucks.

There is no doubt that yards have become more efficient and transparent in their dealings although some still have some distance to travel in order to avoid the poor reputation associated with cost overruns and late deliveries. Certain yards make up for their competitiveness at the quotation stage by the so-called 'add-ons' that creep from the cupboard with amazing ease, although it is true to say that some owners are equally at fault by preparing poor specifications.

The industry and its 'drivers' are fascinating. As big as the players are most have difficulty embracing e-commerce, the Web, and the persona necessary to attract and retain a presence in the industry arena. Many yards are faceless and impersonal requiring a high level of determination on the part of the prospective client to attract attention.

Essex Shipbuilding understands the industry and believes it can help in developing and improving its profile.

Essex Shipbuilding is equally determined to fill a gap in the market by acting as a catalyst or facilitator for the shipping industry and those who support it in the building, repair, maintenance and conversion of ships of all shapes and sizes.