Financial performance under stress: the case of the Norwegian maritime cluster

  • Received October 15, 2019;
    Accepted November 5, 2019;
    Published November 11, 2019
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  • Article Info
    Volume 8 2019, Issue #1, pp. 54-72
  • Cited by
    3 articles

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

The present study investigates the Norwegian maritime industry in terms of its economic activity during the period 2001–2018. The purpose of the study is to determine the financial state and to conduct the cluster analysis of the companies which belong to the Blue Maritime Cluster of Møre and Romsdal County.
The paper presents a structural analysis of key financial indicators of the maritime industry within four major segments: shipping companies, shipyards, ship equipment manufactures, and maritime design and service providers. The analysis sheds light on the impact of the 2015–2017 offshore crisis on the Norwegian maritime cluster activity, which makes up the essential components of the maritime industry.
The author suggests using Harrington’s desirability function to measure the firms’ financial state of two main segments (shipping companies and shipyards) that belong to the Blue Maritime Cluster of the Norwegian North-Western coast, which remains the most important area in Norway for shipbuilding activities. The obtained results reveal that during the analyzed period (2001–2018), companies had a satisfactory level of financial sustainability (with the peak in 2002 for shipping firms and in 2011 for shipyards). Nevertheless, there were several fluctuations and the most significant troughs were fixed after 2014. Moreover, it was defined that government policy plays an important role in an increase in the productivity, competitiveness of the maritime industry and supports more environmentally friendly shipbuilding.

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    • Figure 1. Norwegian fleet by flag of registration and the value of the ship type, 2018
    • Figure 2. Value creation and employment in the maritime industry (2004–2019)
    • Figure 3. Turnover generated from different market segments (2004–2018)
    • Figure 4. Value creation in main groups and subgroups in 2016 (numbers in billion NOK)
    • Figure 5. Number of persons employed in the maritime industry in 2018 by main groups, %
    • Figure 6. Development of turnover among the various shipping types (2004–2018)
    • Figure 7. Development in operating margin among service providers (2004–2018)
    • Figure 8. Turnover and operating margin among the shipyards (2014–2017)
    • Figure 9. Turnover and operating margin among equipment suppliers (2004–2017)
    • Figure 10. Harrington’s desirability function
    • Figure 11. The value of the integral index of the financial state of the shipping companies and shipyards
    • Figure 12. The dynamics of the integral index of the financial state of the shipping companies and shipyards in a period 2001–2018
    • Figure 13. Hierarchical classification of shipping companies and shipyards
    • Table 1. Norwegian merchant fleet by country of beneficial ownership, annual, 2014–2018
    • Table 2. Regionally distributed key figures for the maritime industry in 2018
    • Table 3. Harrington’s function rating scale
    • Table 4. Partial functions determined according to the Harrington’s scale