With the October delivery of the Allure of the Seas, the Turku shipyard of STX Finland has no more orders and building activity will cease, at least temporarily.
So far, the Finnish shipbuilding company has laid off about 1,100 out of a workforce of some 3,300, Juha Heikinheimo, president, told Cruise Industry News.
STX’s Helsinki yard also has an empty orderbook, but has a conversion project of Color Superspeed ferry, while the Rauma yard is working at full capacity, building two ferries for P&O and an Antarctic research vessel for South African owners.
Heikinheimo said the only way to be successful in today’s global shipbuilding market is to be competitive in all areas – both technically and in terms of cost. “You have to deliver technical innovations at acceptable costs and also have a good relationship with the customer,” Heikinheimo said.
“There are projects out there and there will be demand for more cruise ships,” Heikinheimo added.
The bottom line, however, is that it is not enough to be competitive and deliver on time. “Today, there is a limit as to what customers will pay,” he said. “Quality ships do not sell themselves. Owners do not want to pay a premium. We must be humble and be competitive. But we do not want to be the cheapest. We must get a fair price for our quality.”