Maritime Monitor 2018

The Dutch maritime cluster

In 2017, the direct and indirect production value was almost € 55.1 billion. The total value added amounted to around € 18.5 billion, including € 4.3 billion indirect value added; a total of € 22,8 billion. This means the maritime cluster generates 3.1% of the total GDP of the Netherlands (2016: 3.3%). The sector provided employment for around 260,000 people, which is 2.85% of total employment in the Netherlands (2016: 2.9%). Of these jobs, 166,763 were direct employment (2016: 166,600), equal to 2.85% of total Dutch employment (2016: 2,9%).

Evolution of the Dutch maritime cluster until 2018

The sector is showing recovery for some time. Total exports amounted to nearly €26 billion in 2017, decreasing little less than €0,35 billion in comparison to the previous year. This decrease is mainly attributable to shipbuilding, where the export figures of CBS show a substantial peak in 2016 compared to 2015 and 2017. In 2017, the cluster has a share of 3.9% in total Dutch exports of goods and services. Robust economic development does not yet reflect in employment rates. The sector seems to lag a little behind general business cycles. Direct employment declined slightly compared to 2016; -0.5% in 2017. The strongest increases in absolute direct employment in 2017 occurred in the port sector (+1,750 people);
the strongest decline took place in offshore employment (approximately -1,200 people). However, indirect employment only decreased marginally by –0.2%; partly due to lower direct employment.

Employment seems to be under pressure of increasing demand for general, yet highly skilled, technical staff; skills also required in other economic sectors. The sustainable influx of new personnel, at a variety of skills, backgrounds, and levels of education is essential for the future of the sector. Rapid economic, and technological development – such as the rise of digitalization, the internet of things, and robotization – calls for advanced training of students, and existing personnel. The maritime sector grows more and more into an overall future-oriented labour market.
The sectors most prominently contributing to the overall added value of the sector are dredging, maritime equipment supply, offshore, maritime services, and the port sector. Most noticeable is the increase in added value by the maritime services sector; a total increase of 56%. The navy, and inland shipping too show positive trends over this period. Lagging behind are shipping, fishing, and shipbuilding. The latter not yet recovered from the global economic crisis.


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