You may think of shipyards as more of a place than an industry, but with so many different people and processes involved, it is easily an industry in its own right. It also remains a separate entity to the shipping containers and docks industry, which involves its own people, processes and equipment.
A shipyard is used for the building or repairing of ships. These can range in sizes, from small, personal yachts to huge cruise liners, passenger ships or military vessels. Although we highlighted above that shipping dockyards are a separate entity, it is important to note that there is often an overlap between the two, and the terms dockyard or shipyard are commonly used interchangeably. This means that you will often hear of ships or vessels being repaired in dockyards too.
It also incorporates the engineering industry, which looks at the innovation and design of ships, and the construction industry, which involves the actual construction of the vessels. In total, the global shipyard and ship building industry is now worth around $142 billion.
The inside of a shipyard in California
While the industry itself, and the number of ships that are being produced, has fluctuated, especially after the economic downturn, it remains a vital industry. This is because roughly 90% of all world trade is carried by ships. So where does lifting equipment fit into all of this?
At the very beginning of the process, lifting equipment helps in several ways. It will help with the engineering and construction of the shipyard itself, as well as on the production lines in manufacturing plants for the creation of the various ship parts.
Once these parts are transported to the shipyards, lifting equipment is absolutely vital in the building and maintenance of all the various ships and vessels. Much like the automotive or aerospace industries, the parts and pieces involved in this industry are often far too heavy for a human to lift, and cranes and their lifting accessories are the only items which can help.
As some shipyards are often outside, large, overhead cranes become permanent fixtures in these environments. Cranes constructed from aluminium also play a special role, as aluminium has a much higher resistance to steel or corrosion than steel does.
Workers may often need to work at height in this industry, and this is where a range of height safety equipment comes in handy, such as safety lanyards or safety belts.
Lifting equipment, which involves so many different tools and products, has become an extremely useful category for so many industries around the world. It is used for dozens of different applications, and we have covered some of these applications here: Applications and Uses of Lifting Equipment.
If you would like to discuss this equipment in more detail, or perhaps you would like to know more about how it may be useful for your own industry, please contact us here.