According to the study, the global marine coatings industry is poised to sail forward on the growing demand for reduced fuel consumption in cargo and cruise ships. Increasingly stringent environmental regulations are boosting the prospects of high-value, eco-friendly coatings. Innovation has been the only constant, with all companies striving to offer eco-friendly products.
"The need to lower fuel consumption is a strong market driver and antifouling coatings applied to ships’ hulls offer one way to combat emissions and reduce fuel consumption,” said Frost and Sullivan research director Leonidas Dokos. "Foul-release technology, which also results in substantial fuel savings, is particularly useful for large cargo ships, which consume a lot of fuel."
Marine coatings manufacturers are generally conservative in adopting new practices. However, increasingly stringent environmental legislation, paralleled by customer preference for more eco-friendly products, is pushing innovation in the market.
"Companies are investing in developing eco-friendly products such as metal-free, anti-fouling coatings," noted Dokos. "Most major participants now offer silicone- or fluororesin-based foul-release products."
While these are positive signs for the market, it is not expected to be all smooth sailing. Participants will have to contend with two major challenges; projected declines in shipbuilding production and the consolidation of shipping management companies.
Until the beginning of 2014, new ship building activities are expected to fall. This will lead to declining volume demands in the near-term. Consolidation of the shipping management companies will increase their buying power, while placing additional pressure on marine coatings prices.
"Aggressive marketing, improved customer service – as sales are mostly direct – high performance products and strategic alliances in regions like China will help improve market share," said Dokos. "As the market is dominated by a few large companies and barriers to entry are high, smaller companies should focus on offering differentiated products and superior customer service."
For more information on this study, contact Chiara Carella, corporate communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.