This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/22/2019


Norway is one of the world’s largest maritime offshore nations and has been a major player in shipping and shipbuilding for more than 150 years.  Even with a population of only 5.3 million, Norway is considered a superpower on the seas, controlling the world's 5th largest merchant fleet, measured by value (up from 6th in 2017).  A total of 1,787 Norwegian controlled foreign going ships are registered in 2019.  Norwegian ship owners are especially active within shipping areas like offshore service/specialty vessels, oil tankers, bulk carriers, chemical tankers, gas (LNG/LPG) tankers, car carriers, and cruise operations.  However, a declining, but still significant over-capacity in the industry represents a challenge.  As of February 2019, 112 vessels and 20 rigs were in layup, down from a total of 183 in 2017.  This layup is a result of the downturn in the oil/gas market which started in 2014.

Norway has a long tradition of utilizing the rich maritime environment, including major activities in commercial shipping, fishing and aquaculture.  The market for leisure boats is also large in Norway, with an estimated 800,000 boats and vessels.  The Norwegian coastline measures over 20,000 km.  With fjords and islands included, the length of the Norwegian coastline is 126% that of the United States.

Many have characterized the Norwegian maritime community as being the most internationally competitive and knowledge-based industry in Norway.  The maritime community is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the world, encompassing ship owners, brokers, insurance and financial services, classification institutions, shipyards, ship's gear manufacturers, institutions of maritime education, maritime research and development, aquaculture players, maritime authorities and employees' organizations. 


U.S. maritime technology and service suppliers have found the Norwegian market well worth exploring for exports and joint ventures.  Opportunities for maritime technology companies are particularily rich for two main reasons:
First, a major technology transfer is taking place, from offshore oil and gas to other maritime areas.  Developing an array of new applications based on world leading offshore energy solutions opens up for many new and innovative companies to participate.  For example, offshore oil and gas technology fuels most of the dozens cutting edge aquaculture and ocean farming pilots that the Norwegian government is lisencing.  All of these projects, whether on land or offshore, deal with battling sea lice, big waves, fish escapes, pollution, and a range of other hazards, and need the best technologies the world has to offer.  Norway is dependent on input in practically all parts of the maritime value chain, and participation by U.S. companies is as welcome now as when Norway’s oil and gas resources were first discovered in the 1960s.  This technology transfer is a comprehensive, coordinated effort by industry, clusters, and government (for example, see the Norwegian Government’s Ocean Strategy below).  Second, a major cost reduction phase during the years 2015-2017 for offshore energy exploration companies and major contractors has made the industry more competitive in emerging business segments such as floating offshore wind parks.  Innovations and cost control efforts are starting to produce profitable projects that can deliver megawatts to the grid with significantly lower or no subsidies.  When shareholders in leading corporations give the green light to pursue a wider range of maritime projects, the whole eco system follows.  

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Norway Marine Technology Trade Development and Promotion