Key Opportunities and Challenges in the Marine Propeller Market

The marine propeller market is estimated to be USD 4.73 Billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 5.37 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 2.56% from 2017 to 2022.The base year considered for this study is 2016 and the forecast period is from 2017 to 2022.

The marine propeller market is estimated to be USD 4.73 Billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 5.37 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 2.56% from 2017 to 2022.The base year considered for this study is 2016 and the forecast period is from 2017 to 2022.

Growth in international seaborne trade

Maritime transport is considered the backbone of international trade. According to data published by the International Chamber of Shipping (UK), approximately 90% of the global volume of merchandise trade is being carried by sea as transport of goods, and raw material through this channel is much cheaper than rail and road transport.

Countries in the Asia region have become leading providers of manufactured goods. The demand for container ships is significantly high in this region, owing to an increase in the export of goods. Most shipbuilding companies, including manufacturers of propulsion systems and propellers, are located in the Asia region. Thus, the demand for maritime transport services and the growth of the shipping industry in Asia have contributed to the increased demand for marine propellers in this region.

Accidents caused by propellers

Accidents caused by the blades of propellers are one of the major restraining factors impacting the growth of the marine propeller market. Most propeller accidents are caused by inexperienced and incompetent ship operators. The propeller blades of naval vessels pose a threat to the lives of swimmers and marine life. In a few countries worldwide, a permanent ban has been demanded on the usage and manufacturing of ducted propellers to prevent such accidents. Nevertheless, maximum accidents have occurred by propellers of recreational boats, fishing boats, ferries, and small cruise ships. The safety of swimmers and marine life becomes a matter of prime importance that cannot be overlooked. However, to date, limited efforts have been undertaken to reduce the number of propeller strike accidents.

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What kind of technological innovations in marine propulsion systems are going to be opportunities for the marine propeller market?

Over the past decade, innovation in marine technology has resulted in the advent of highly advanced and energy-efficient marine propulsion systems that offer maximum output with minimum fuel consumption. Presently, shipping operations across the globe consume approximately 200 million tons of diesel and oil annually. Merchant vessels used for shipping operations emit the same percentage of sulfur oxide as compared to other transport vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and buses. The innovation of hybrid power marine engines and propulsion systems has resolved the issue associated with high fuel consumption and subsequently emissions. Reduction in fuel consumption will reduce the cost associated with seaborne trade which will further increase the seaborne trade and demand for new merchant ships.

Companies investing in the latest technologies related to marine engines and propulsion systems are focused on the development of energy-efficient systems to reduce carbon emissions and comply with environmental regulations. For instance, triple-E class mega vessels manufactured by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (South Korea) are capable of reducing fuel consumption by approximately 50% as compared to conventional container ships operating on routes between Asia and Europe. Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques are used for propeller designing and testing, which, in turn, has led to the development of blade profiles that improve the overall efficiency of propellers. Hence, technological advancements in the field of propulsion systems have enhanced the growth prospects for manufacturers of marine propellers.


How will fluctuation in oil & gas prices challenge the market for marine propellers?

The production, exploration, and distribution of oil & gas is undertaken by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), oil prices have declined to a significant extent since 2014; in January 2016, the price of oil was USD 28/barrel. However, in July 2017, oil prices increased to USD 45.9/barrel. Oil & gas prices are determined based on their demand and supply. Low oil prices impact the oil & gas exploration and production industry, thereby propelling organizations to re-evaluate their exploration strategies. The decline in oil & gas exploration and production activities affects the demand for merchant vessels, such as oil tankers and bulk carriers, and subsequently the demand for marine propellers. Therefore, fluctuation in oil & gas prices acts as a challenge to the growth of the marine propeller market.

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