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Finnish Maritime Miracle Seeks Swedish Engineering Skills for Continued Growth and Competitiveness

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The world’s largest and the most luxurious cruise ships are built in Finland, as well as the majority of the icebreakers on the global seas. The Finnish industrial miracle, its globally known shipbuilding industry, is the leading international technology, competence and trend setter in the maritime sector. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, Finnish shipyards demand the best quality and latest innovations from suppliers.

Proud to present on September 22nd-23rd in 2016, Business Sweden in Helsinki organized the First Swedish Maritime Delegation to Finland. Business Sweden, Swedocean together with 11 representatives from the Swedish maritime industry were warmly welcomed by two of the leading shipyards in Finland: Meyer Turku and RMC, Rauma Marine Constructions. The participating companies were Motala Verkstad Group, CEJN, Lidan Marine, Atlas Copco, Kockumation Group, Mesab, Rolls-Royce, ÅF, Hellbergs International, Meson and Vibratec Akustikprodukter. 

Meyer Turku

The ambition with our delegation was to contribute to the Finnish maritime cluster with Swedish innovations, shipyard industry with insights and resources from e.g. the offshore segment in order to help maintain competitiveness knowledge in sustainability and traditions in engineering.

Finland’s biggest shipyard, Meyer Turku Oy (owned by German Meyer family), is experiencing strong demand from the market, which also has a positive effect on investments both in maintenance and production.  At the same time, Meyer has expressed an interest in integrating new innovations in every new ship. Additional and traditional shipyard success is found in Rauma, not far from Turku. The re-born Rauma Marine Constructions has a wide scale of ship types which they build and repair with the help of a pool of subcontractors.

During the first day the delegation visited the shipyard in Turku where over 10 people most of which purchasers from Meyer met the delegation. Also CEO Jan Meyer participated in the program. Participating Swedish companies had the possibility to make a 15-minute presentation for the purchasers after Meyer had presented it’s company, purchasing procedures and described the development and trends explaining the high demand on the market. The global orderstock is double the size compared to the usual level, and Meyer Turku enjoys a full pipeline several years ahead.

”Swedish maritime industry used to have a higher share of the suppliers, and we see potential in increasing the current share. Sweden has similar traditions in high-technology engineering as Finland and Germany. We would like to increase the share of Swedish suppliers from the current 3-6 percent up to 10 percent or even over, if they are competitive” says Jorma Holmström, Head of Procurement and Warehouse Operations, at Meyer Turku. 

Company presentations at Meyer Turku

The following day the delegation visited the shipyard in Rauma, where the program was similar to the one in Turku (presentations from RMC, presentations by the Swedish companies and sightseeing in the shipyard area). RMC has a more diversified portfolio of vessels in focus, which increased the mutual interest for hearing more on RMC projects and the offering of Swedish companies. One of the potential areas of cooperation with Swedish suppliers is according to Markku Uusitalo, Head of Life-Cycle Services, at RMC, the coming order from the Finnish Defence Industry. The interest for cooperation with Swedish suppliers was clear.

”Characteristic for both shipyards, and for this industry in general, is that the access to the shipyards requires more co-operation within the domestic industry. Swedish companies are encouraged to create consortiums in order to be able to take larger turn-key projects,” summarizes Elina Rantanen, Senior Project Manager, Business Sweden in Finland, also responsible for the Swedish Maritime Delegation to Finland.                            

Despite many challenges in the Finnish economy, one shining industry star shows how a traditional manufacturing industry can be turned into an impressive growth engine. Finnish maritime cluster and its enormous amount of competence, drive and innovation, stimulates with its growth rate the entire Finnish economy and is open for cooperation with Swedish companies.

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Elina Rantanen

Senior Project Manager Helsinki Senior Project Manager, Helsinki