Companies in this industry build and repair barges, cargo ships, naval vessels, and passenger ships, as well as platforms used for oil and gas drilling and production. Major companies include Huntington Ingalls and the shipbuilding division of General Dynamics (both based in the US), along with Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and Samsung Heavy Industries (all of South Korea); China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC); China State Shipbuilding Corporation; and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan).
Demand for military shipbuilding is largely determined by military budgets. Commercial shipbuilding demand is determined by international and domestic trade, the health of the global economy, and rate of fleet replacement due to age or obsolescence. Small companies usually specialize in building and repair of small commercial vessels. Large companies tend to offer a wide range of building and repair services for both commercial and military vessels, and enjoy economies of scale in purchasing, design, and manufacturing. The US industry is highly concentrated: the largest 50 companies account for about 90% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Revenue is generated by the design and construction of new commercial and military vessels, and the renovation and repair of existing ships. Commercial products include tankers, passenger vessels and cruise ships, barges, bulk carriers, and containerships. Military products include aircraft carriers, attack submarines, transport and ammunition ships, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, and mine hunters.