Dutch shipping

Innovative sector


Dutch shipowners operate a very modern fleet, often selling their ships to foreign shipowners long before their ‘end of life’. In this way, the Dutch fleet contains a large number of new vessels equipped with the latest technological innovations. What’s more, this strategy has made it possible for Dutch shipyards and equipment suppliers to continuously innovate and ensure that the Dutch shipping industry is among the world leaders.

MARIN tests model Juice Express

Smarter, cleaner and safer

In representing Dutch shipowners, the KVNR wants to stimulate innovation in the shipping industry. Innovation means that timely measures can be taken in response to upcoming regulations concerning exhaust emissions, ballast water treatment, and ship-to-shore connections and so on.

In order to achieve this goal, the KVNR also strives for improved cooperation within the entire maritime cluster, believing that knowledge sharing is a crucial and indispensable approach to bringing about innovations.

Innovation strengthens economic growth and the competitive position of the shipping industry. In fact, shipping and innovation are also inherently linked, and Dutch shipowners are only too happy to lead the way with their involvement in numerous innovative projects. These relate to nautical, (environmental) technical and digital innovations that result in the construction of more advanced ships.

Better tools are also being developed for navigation and technical purposes. With experimental hull forms and propulsion systems, for example, a lot is being done to make ships as sustainable as possible, in addition to making crews as comfortable as possible. This means that the shipping industry can always perform at its highest level. In this way, shipowners stay competitive as business owners, while limiting their impact on the environment and guaranteeing their employees a positive and safe workplace.

Maritime Awards

In order to celebrate existing, as well as to encourage new, innovations, the Dutch maritime cluster organises the Maritime Awards Gala every November. During this annual event, five prestigious awards are presented by different organisations. The KVNR also participates, and in 2008 it created the Maritime KVNR Shipping Award, to demonstrate that the shipping industry is an innovative sector in which environmental awareness, sustainability and corporate social responsibility are high on the agenda.

The other awards are the Maritime NMT Designer Award, the Maritime NMT Innovation Award, the Ship of the Year Award, and the Maritime RNLN Van Hengel-Spengler Award.


Shipbuilders and technicians

Shipowners are largely dependent on equipment suppliers and shipyards for the implementation of innovative applications. While it is not always possible, Dutch shipping companies of course prefer to build or refit their vessels in their own country. Such suppliers and shipbuilders are often members of Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT), with employees members of the Royal Association of Shipping Technicians (KNVTS).