Bremen has a long history of shipbuilding companies and suppliers. As part of the maritime economy it is one of the city’s most important industrial sectors. Many shipbuilding and shipping industry companies have found Bremen to be an excellent base from which to conquer the world.
‘Made in Bremen’ – an entire ship, completely built and fitted out in Bremen – not a problem, even these days. Shipyards, docks, outfitters, machine parts, electronics – Bremen and Bremerhaven can offer at least one company in each sub-section of the production chain. The figures prove that this capacity is based on solid foundations: Bremen is the second-largest port in Germany, with 1,300 companies and at least 40,000 employees within the maritime economy as a whole, to mention just a few.
This includes the many suppliers to the shipping industry. With their innovative solutions and special expertise they are also well respected internationally. And they are proof that shipbuilding companies and the shipping industries have a future in Bremen. We have selected 13 firms to represent the entire sector and to illustrate the process chain from bow to stern.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. For other maritime businesses please see our business directory.
We start our tour through the ship on the bridge. In this digital world, even ships are always online. Mediamobil Communications GmbH provides the required connectivity. It supplies the infrastructure, operates its own satellite communication services and gives ship owners constant access to all the data. Mediamobil also participates in research to advance maritime communication technology, such as the Com4Offshore project.
Where exactly does the food come from that ships’ crews consume during their months-long voyages from Germany to China? The Kloska Group knows where, and supplies it too. The company can provide pretty much anything that might be needed on board a ship, from food to spare parts, tools and electrical goods all the way to ropes and technical systems for shipyards. They claim to stock 130,000 different items – what more could a ship want?
From design and construction to shipment, assembly and sale, Heinrich Rönner Group is involved in all aspects of shipbuilding. With around 1,200 employees at 21 sites in Germany it is also one of the largest maritime industry companies in Bremen and Bremerhaven.
Lifting, lowering, covering – TTS Marine GmbH is the specialist when it comes to heavy-duty tasks. The company designs and constructs marine cranes, deck machinery and hatch covers. Part of the Norwegian TTS Group, the firm’s Bremen-based products are used wherever loads need to be hoisted onto or below deck. This includes container ships, ro-ro ferries and offshore platforms.
Kraeft Systemtechnik ensures that everything is heading in the right direction. The Bremerhaven company produces steering gears, transverse thrusters and hydraulics systems for the shipping industry. They also operate on land, supplying, for example, steel hydro-mechanical equipment for locks and system engineering for industrial applications.
On every ship, hot water or steam needs to be generated for a wide range of processes. SAACKE GmbH produces the required burners and boilers. The Bremen company has particular expertise in reducing exhaust gas pollutants. The global guidelines for exhaust gases on the world’s oceans are getting increasingly stricter – giving those who are able to emit clean air a distinct competitive edge. Apart from hot water and steam, SAACKE therefore also produces exhaust gas cleaning systems for ships’ main drives and auxiliary diesels.
If water is required on board a ship, the crew cannot simply use salt water from the sea. And getting rid of it is no easier, as it is illegal to just dump waste water into the oceans. RWO Veolia offers treatment plants for fresh water, process water and waste water on ships. This includes bilge water, for example, which collects in the rump at the bottom of a ship, called the bilge, and is often contaminated with oil. The oily water separator from RWO Veolia removes the oil from the bilge water.
Ships’ cranes lift loads weighing thousands of tonnes. But unlike land-based cranes, they don’t have much in the way of support, so ingenious systems of pumps and ballast water are used to keep ships from capsizing. BESI Marine Systems GmbH designs and builds these anti-heeling systems. They also know their way around hydraulic, pneumatic and electric actuators. Wherever a valve or a flap need to move, BESI has got it covered. All valves are produced by the company as well.
Full steam ahead! ScanDiesel is a partner for international manufacturers of marine engines for small and medium-size vessels. The company, based in Bremen-Nord, takes care of the import and quality assurance, advises customers, trains service staff and is involved in the development of maritime drive system solutions.
Building a new ship or carrying out a major refit are projects that often cost millions. LÖWE MARINE keeps an eye on all of the processes involved to ensure that planning and execution run smoothly. Advice and project management for refits, valuation, design and acceptance of conversions, drafting of contracts, construction supervision and inspection – the Bremen-based company contributes its expertise to all of these.
One of the big dockyards in the north is the Lloyd’s shipyard. The long-established company made its prestigious name building passenger ships and special-purpose vessels, as well as with repairs, conversions and expansion projects. Founded in 1857 to build the liners and freighters of the Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company, today its docks can still accommodate huge vessels more than 300 metres in length and with a draught of up to eleven metres.
German Dry Docks is an association of shipyards founded in 2013 by a number of Bremerhaven shipbuilders and dock companies. In 2017 it joined together with other shipyards to form the German Dry Docks Group. Their combined market presence allows the Group to pool its resources and optimise the utilisation of dock capacity to increase its overall competitive strength. With its mobile service teams, the implementation of Industry 4.0 and its state-of-the-art environmental technologies, the Group is leading the way towards the future of shipbuilding.
Luxury yachts for the rich and the beautiful – this is what the name Lürssen is famous for. Since 1875 the successful family-run enterprise has been manufacturing ships. In addition to its home in Bremen Vegesack, the company has further locations throughout Germany. This includes the old-established shipyard Blohm + Voss from Hamburg, who became part of the Lürssen Group in 2016. The manufacturer of megayachts employs more than 1,000 people in Bremen alone.
For further information about the north German maritime cluster, please contact Andreas Born, innovations manager for the north German maritime cluster and Industry 4.0, on +49 (0)421 960 0316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in establishing a business in Bremen, please contact Andreas Gerber, +49 (0) 421 9600 123, email@example.com.
More information on the maritime economy and logistics in Bremen and the services offered by Bremeninvest is available here.
The state of Bremen covers 420 square kilometres and is home to around 670,000 people. Almost 22,000 companies provide more than 325,000 jobs. Below, we introduce some of the strong sectors that that make Bremen such an excellent business location.
Bremen is Germany’s sixth-largest industrial hub in terms of revenue. Whether the sector is aerospace, food, automotive, shipping or steel production, Bremen has always been a major player.
At her company Sabine Grimm Yacht & Interior Design, the passionate sailor from Hastedt, Bremen, offers 65,000 fabric samples – to the delight of yacht designers from all over the world who can find many rarities in Grimm’s treasure trove of textiles.
Europe’s largest terminal for breakbulk and heavy-lift cargo is located in Neustadt port. After Antwerp, Bremen’s ports are the second most important transshipment hub in Europe for forestry products, steel products and machinery. The federal state of Bremen is preparing for the future in a highly competitive market.
Global commerce would be impossible without shipping, and wind farms at sea are indispensable for energy provision on land. Yet maritime transport systems and infrastructure are exposed to a wide range of risks. The German Aerospace Centre’s (DLR) new institute in Bremerhaven aims to identify these risks and work with businesses to develop safeguards.
The depths of the ocean remain one of the last great mysteries on Earth. What is the precise composition of the seafloor? What flora and fauna inhabit it? Where has the delicate balance of the ecosystem been seriously disrupted? We still don’t have complete answers to any of these questions, but four young scientists from Bremen are aiming to change that.
Unloading shipping containers requires manual work, which is pretty unusual in the automated and digitalised world of logistics. But a Bremen-based research project aims to change all this with its IRiS robot.
Bremen-based company Home & Marine works in a sector that generates huge interest, but is often shrouded in secrecy – it builds complex entertainment systems for mega-yachts. The company is reluctant to speak about customers and orders, but since it was founded just over 25 years ago, Home & Marine has worked on more than 100 yachts.
The research alliance ROBEX is sending robots up active volcanoes and down into the deepest and darkest seas. Working across disciplines, the 120 scientists of the 16 institutes involved are breaking new ground on this project. They have been eagerly waiting to find out what has happened to the TRAMPER diving robot, which has been exploring the deep seas around Spitsbergen for a year. Now they are ready to bring it back.
A growing number of companies are becoming more aware of their social and environmental footprint, and are looking for ways to act with greater environmental and social responsibility. Germany’s north-west is set to become the national centre for social entrepreneurship in logistics. A new platform is under development and the first round of events is being planned to achieve this goal.
In the space of just a few years, the maritime city of Bremerhaven has developed into a service centre for the seafaring and shipbuilding industry. At the centre of it all is the company German Dry Docks, whose managing director, Guido Försterling, has already heralded the era of ‘seafaring 4.0’.
How will the UK’s impending exit from the EU affect the logistics sector? Günther Hörbst, Managing Director of the Via Bremen Foundation, on the economic links between the United Kingdom and the EU
BLG LOGISTICS GROUP AG & Co. KG’s AutoTerminal in Bremerhaven is a record-breaking automotive hub. Every year, the terminal handles some 2.3 million vehicles. But that’s not all.
For 30 years, the Cargo Distribution Centre in Bremen has delivered excellence – as an investment location and a logistics hub. Today more than 150 companies employing approximately 8,000 people are based at the site. It offers direct links to the ports, the autobahn and has a close proximity to Bremen City Airport.