A new survey carried out for financial daily newspaper Børsen shows that the maritime industry in northern Jutland has managed to keep the wind in its sails despite the closure of two shipyards in the region in the 1990s, when 3,000 jobs were lost. The survey has been conducted by Væksthus Nordjylland, a business organisation that provides services to entrepreneurs and companies with ambitious growth plans.
The survey reveals that there are some 200 maritime companies in the region which collectively generate revenues of about DKK 8bn (USD 1.4bn) and represent roughly 8,000 jobs.
Henrik Thingholm Kristoffersen of Væksthus Nordjylland says: "What is characteristic of many of the small companies in the industry is that they have enthusiastically identified new business areas at times when there has been a decline in those areas where they had hitherto generated their revenue."
Many of the SMEs function as sub-suppliers, making products ranging from deck hatches to navigation equipment and gears and screws.
"The maritime world has always been global, and the development of recent years means that the northern Jutland companies need to think even more globally in a world where ships are being produced in the Far East and have a size which rarely brings them into a Danish port," comments Kristoffersen.
Jørgen Ove Jensen, business director of Frederikshavn Business Council says that some of the companies that have seen the strongest growth in the region are maritime firms. "The industry has made a change from new building to service. With success. They are fast at adopting new technology and the industry is characterised by small and medium-sized companies."