Record turnout for SMM 2014

Maritime trade fair attracts 50,000 industry visitors to Hamburg.


 It was another full success: With more than 2,100 exhibitors from all around the world, including 150 first-timers, with 50,000 industry visitors and roughly 90,000 square metres of exhibition space, SMM has demonstrated once again what it means to be the leading international trade fair of the maritime industry. After four days brimming with activity, the 26th SMM came to a close today.

"We set new records this year," said Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

The excellent turnout not only showed that companies are ready to meet the current challenges with determination, but it also revealed a growing appreciation for collaboration, he added.

"This fair generates ideas and fresh impetus for the maritime industry, and it is a perfect platform for networking, inspiring each other and negotiating deals. It sends a positive, encouraging signal to the maritime community," said Aufderheide.

The industry's top event again took place under the patronage of the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.

"SMM is as much a part of Hamburg as St. Michael's Cathedral and the Elbe river. This city is the natural home of this famous industry fair," said Senator Frank Horch from the Hamburg Department of Economics, Transport and Innovation.

He emphasised the city's resolve to step up its efforts in support of the shipbuilding industry.

"Our city owes so much to the shipping industry. It goes without saying that Hamburg will continue to invest in the shipbuilding sector."

Of course, the Hamburg Association of Ship Engineers (VSIH), the originator and inspirational authority behind SMM, was present at the fair.

"The engineers organised in the VSIH traditionally embrace innovation in ship operation. What has made SMM the grand event it is today has been its international character and its ability to integrate all nations," stressed VSIH Chairman Jürgen Witte, alluding to the four "I's" of the fair's guiding principles: Identification, Integration, Internationality and Innovation.

The Innovation topic featured prominently on the agenda of this year's SMM, which presented the entire bandwidth of maritime innovation. The exhibits covered a wide spectrum, from large-scale ship engineering and shipbuilding products to ship outfitting and equipment supplies, and from cargo handling systems and maritime technologies to specialised services.

With its 26 national pavilions and exhibitors from 67 different countries, this year's fair was more international than ever. Two thirds of exhibitors hailed from countries other than Germany.
For the first time, companies from Egypt, Lebanon and Sri Lanka showcased their maritime products and services, and Dubai set up its first-ever national pavilion.

In fact, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry's pavilion, representing more than 20 companies, bustled with activity.

"Our fair visit is a full success. This fair is extremely well organised. We have learned a lot at this event and are returning home with a long list of new contacts," said Khamis Juma Buamin, Group Chief Executive Officer of Drydocks World and Maritime World.

The Asian market was also well-represented. For example, South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, Hyundai Samha Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding, Hanju Heavy Industries & Construct Co. and Korea Offshore & Shipbuilding Association (Koshipa) had staffed a joint booth which attested to the country's far-ranging capabilities.

"For us as Asian shipbuilders, SMM is an event we cannot miss. This is where we meet up with our European customers, build relationships and generate new business," said Hyoung-Won Hahm, Deputy General Manager of HHI.

The venue itself has a strong appeal to Hahm.

"Hamburg is one of the most important ports for international container shipping. For our business this is a true hot spot," he pointed out.

China was likewise represented by numerous well-known companies, such as the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), one of the industry leaders.

The booth of Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri attracted plenty of attention with its generously-sized displays of fascinating ship models to a scale of 1:150, including models of a FREMM class frigate, the cruise ship "Carnival Sunshine" of Carnival Cruise Lines, and the 133 metre yacht "Serene".

Germany as the host country did not hide its light under a bushel at SMM.

"German shipowners and operators are a key target group of this fair. With billions invested in state-of-the-art technology for both newbuilds and ships in service they have made Germany the world's third largest shipping nation. This benefits German suppliers and developers in particular," said Ralf Nagel, Managing President of the German shipowners' association, VDR.

German ingenuity was palpable in all of the exhibition halls. In keeping with the motto ‘Networked thinking, networked actions’, the German Engineering Federation VDMA presented a new version of German Marine Equipment, an Online manufacturer catalogue of all German companies of the supply segment.

"It is our goal to bring the cumulative competence of German companies closer to international customers," said Dr Jörg Mutschler, Managing Director of VDMA.

"The focused yet familiar atmosphere among the exhibitors and customers and the high quality of the exhibitors are trademarks of the Hamburg fair. The reason for this is the fact that this fair has grown steadily over the years. This is why SMM is always going to be the leading international trade fair of the maritime industry," Mutschle added.

"SMM 2014 set new participation records, with a host of innovative products demonstrating the high level of the technological development work done by this industry," said Dr Reinhard Lüken, General Managing Director of the German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industries Association (VSM). In particular, the exhibits of German shipbuilding and maritime technology companies are indicative of the exceptional competence of Germany's maritime industry, he added.

Multinational Siemens is a good example.

"Among our highlights this year is our propulsion pod "eSiPod" which we are presenting with a new design and improved hydrodynamic properties plus a significantly expanded power range. This development is part of our strategy to increase the energy efficiency and reduce the emissions of ships sustainability through innovation," said Andreas Schwann, Head of Siemens Marine & Shipbuilding.

Not only the exhibitors were enthusiastic about the fair, the visitors likewise expressed their satisfaction. According to an independent survey, 96 per cent of responding visitors said they found the fair ‘good’ or ‘very good’. A staggering 94 per cent said they would gladly recommend SMM.

Executives from all target segments were present, with the ship-owning and ship operating, shipbuilding and shipyard, equipment and plant engineering as well as electronics segments named most frequently. The international portion of the fair visitors increased by 10 per cent compared to the last SMM (45 per cent). Conspicuously, visitor quality had improved again, as well: All key decision makers were there, a fact reflected by the positive responses from exhibitors.

"This fair is an international meeting place, and we are very happy with the attendance. As for Rolls Royce Marine, the introduction of our new marine diesel engine B33:45 was a major highlight at SMM because now, all of them are represented here," said Andrew Rice, Vice President Marketing, Rolls Royce Marine.

Ralf Sempf, Director – Materials Management with Meyer Werft, applauded the open-mindedness of the fair visitors.

"With its excellent visitor figures and the decidedly positive, optimistic mindset I observed among exhibitors and visitors alike, this year's SMM was a full success for me. I am taking home from this fair a wealth of extremely innovative ideas and concepts for our very special segment of the shipbuilding market: highly complex cruiseships."

This year again, the fair provided an ideal backdrop for signing business deals. In fact, a major contract was signed by Peter Fetten (Carnival) and Blohm+Voss Repair CEO Jan-Kees Pilaar at the booth of B+V. With 92,000 employees, EUR 13 bn. in annual sales and 101 dream ships, Carnival Corporation, Miami (USA) is the world's largest cruiseship operator. Carnival is going to have its entire Europe fleet, including the Club vessels of Aida Cruises, Costa Crociere, Cunard Line and P&O Cruises, among others, repaired and upgraded exclusively by Blohm+Voss. MAN Diesel&Turbo SE likewise reported a major business deal: The company signed a new licence agreement with Qingdao Haixi Marine Diesel Co., Ltd. (QMD), enabling the company to better serve its customers in the important northern Chinese market.

The protection of the marine environment and the improvement of ship efficiency were among the top items on the SMM agenda.

"The shipping industry, working closely together with shipbuilders and suppliers, continues to devote considerable resources and capital to the development and implementation of a wide range of new technologies that protect air and water quality and increase energy efficiency. SMM again gave tangible evidence of the range of modern technology," said MAN Diesel & Turbo CEO Dr Stephan Timmermann.

In his view, SMM 2014 was a big success.

"In the light of continued economic and structural challenges, the industry has shown it believes in its future economic success and its sustainability. There is a sense of anticipation, driven by long-term business partnerships which are so typical of the marine industry. MAN Diesel & Turbo has supported this spirit through its motto 'The Power of Shipping', which expresses our unwavering commitment to the maritime sector. The feedback from our customers was tremendously positive, and it expressed appreciation for the work and investment effort that has enabled the new products and technologies displayed at the fair," said Timmermann.

Raytheon Anschütz for example, a world-leading manufacturer of navigation systems, announced during the fair that it will supply a new generation of its integrated navigation system (INS) Synapsis for two new chemical and product tankers, among other ships. The 50,000 dwt tankers are being built at the Croatian shipyard "3 May" for Spanish shipowner Marflet Marine. Furthermore, the company showcased its newly-developed NautoScan NX radar sensors, the core element of the new Synapsis generation.

"Real-time digital processing of the radar signals and the innovative way the signals are generated enhance the security of crews, passengers, the environment and coast lines," said Dr Lüder Hogrefe, CEO of Raytheon Anschütz.

He called the fair an ideal platform for presenting innovative products.

"SMM is the main hub for our business. We are excited to come here every single time, to meet with global customers and pull together our international sales network," said Hogrefe.

In a special press conference held during SMM, ZF Marine Propulsion announced that it is expanding its range of gearboxes for work boats.

"We get customer requests based on certain power, applications and accessories and we have now taken the position to develop this new series to really fulfil this demand," said Anré Körner, head of product line, commercial and fast craft.

One of the key topics of this year's SMM was LNG as a ship fuel. The demand for LNG technology concepts is strong.

Wärtsilä, one of the leading manufacturers of ship engines, has been promoting more efficient ship propulsion systems for years.

"Now we reap the benefits. More efficient engines are today a major trend across the shipping industry," said CEO Björn Rosengren.

Much experience has been gained already with land-based power generation systems. Now it is time for the shipping sector to embrace natural gas, he added.

"By 1 January 2015 at the latest, when stricter emission limits come into force for the North and Baltic Seas, this topic will be on top of the agenda," said Rosengren.

He added, "Today roughly 50 LNG-driven ships are sailing the world's oceans. By 2020 there might be 1,300."

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