As good as new

Situated at the bustling centre of Antwerp Port, Antwerp Ship Repair is an expert provider of services in the fields of dry-docking, general repairs, maintenance and conversions of vessels, up to 180,000 DWT. Possessing more than a century of knowledge and ship repair experience, the company’s ship yard comprises six graving docks and a series of fully equipped workshops for steel work. In addition to these facilities it also boasts the ability to carry out all manner of machining operations, piping repairs and electrical work, all in the vicinity of some 3000 metres of wet repair berths.

Founded before the outbreak of the Second World War, Antwerp Ship Repair’s yard was originally used a naval dry-docking facility and played a crucial role in Antwerp harbour’s ship repairing activities. The presence of these dry-docking and repair services has remained unchanged even as the company changed hands multiple times in the post-war years. The focus of the present owners over the last several years has been to spearhead a gradual modernisation of the yard. By making improvements to the accompanying cranes, dry-docks and carrying out a series of port repairs the company has been able to better promote itself to prospective clients in the hope of securing new contracts.

Back in 2006 Antwerp Ship Repair conducted all of its operations with just two working dry-docks, making it understandably difficult to expand the business and take on more work in times of prosperity. This was the main factor in the decision to concentrate the company’s modernisation programme on building four new docks to increase the yard’s capacity. Other projects undertaken included the replacement of older cranes for structures that could handle heavier ships and the investment in skilled, motivated people and their training.

As the industry emerges from the financial crisis of 2009, many marine businesses are continuing to err on the side of caution when it comes to spending, in spite of the industry returning to pre-recession levels of activity. One of the decisions the vast majority of ship owners are continuing to make is to seek repairs and changes to existing vessels, rather than simply purchasing new builds, a process that has proven to be the more cost effective option.

This plays directly into the hands of Antwerp Ship Repair, a company that is extremely well known for its steel repair work, particularly on container vessels and dredgers. It is the company’s mission to assist ship owners with all their material problems whilst also using its dry-docking facilities to carry out reclassification tasks. This displays the flexibility of the company to perform a wide range of services, offering solutions to all types of problems or issues.

In the immediate aftermath of the recession Antwerp Ship Repair consciously took a very prudent approach in looking for new projects. It was at this time that the company settled on a plan to concentrate almost exclusively on making adjustments to ships, rather than branch out into new building, which was seen as a possibility at one time. This decision paid off in two particularly beneficial ways, firstly it allowed Antwerp Ship Repair to differentiate itself as a company that is completely focused on ship repairs and transformations, unlike many of its competitors in the market that were seen as ship builders first and foremost, with repairs being, essentially, a secondary service. Maybe more importantly, this business model helped the company survive through some challenging times and remarkably retain the services of all of its employees, at a time when many other organisations were shedding jobs to cut costs.

The ability to keep finding available work during 2009 meant the company retained a fairly positive outlook for the future. When the market began to pick up again during 2010, Antwerp Ship Repair was there at the ready to support owners and subsequently received very positive feedback in regard to the improvements it made to its infrastructure and to its greater overall reliability. By the end of 2010 business had returned to an extremely positive level, making it a particular strong year for the company. Therefore there is even greater cause for excitement now that Antwerp Ship Repair expects to surpass this achievement in 2011.

Expert in ship repairs, maintenance and conversions
Over 100 years of marine experience
One of Europe’s most important ship yards