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Leila Goedhals-Gerbe ORCID logo


The market for shiprepair worldwide is segmented according to the purpose for which ships are used, the types and sizes of ships and geographic areas or the routes plied. Shiprepairers tend to focus on the segments in which they have advantages of comparative cost and/or infrastructure and equipment. Generally, Cape size bulk carriers and Post-Panamax container ships are serviced in docks in Asia and tankers above the Afromax size in the Middle East, while the European shiprepairers provide specialised repair services for smaller ships in niche markets. Shiprepairers elsewhere compete in segments of the remainder of the market. The current demand for shiprepair requiring the use of the drydocks and syncrolift at the Port of Cape Town is largely for the repair of ships used for fishing, mining, supply and services, coastal patrol, salvage, rescue and pleasure (passenger vessels) as well as harbour craft and cable ships. Most of the trading ships repaired, apart from those requiring emergency repairs, are small coasters. Few ships involved in international trade have been drydocked for routine survey and repairs in recent years and such business seems to have been lost to Cape Town mainly because it is not a terminal port for regular voyages. The development of the shiprepair industry is an important target in the maritime sector of the National Development Plan of South Africa. In this article conclusions are reached about the complexity of the business economic difficulties of doing so and the prospects for promoting the plan at Cape Town. In view of the lack of academic literature in South Africa on shipping topics notwithstanding the dependence of a country’s economy on its maritime trade, the article is also intended to induce further research on the topic.

Keywords: Shiprepair, Maritime Trade, Drydocks

How to cite this paper: Goedhals-Gerber, L. L. (2014). The market for ship repair facilities in the port of Cape town. Corporate Ownership & Control, 12(1-4), 406-417.