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Ship Rudder Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Rudder Type (Balanced Rudder, Unbalanced Rudder, and Semi-Balanced Rudder), By Point of Sale (OEM and Aftermarket), By End-user (Naval, Commercial, Coat Guard, and Others), By Ship Type (Container Ship, Passenger Ship, Bulk Carrier, Tanker Ship, Fishing Vessel, Naval Ship, General Cargo Ship, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2023-2030

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI107560



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The global ship rudder market size was valued at USD 1.03 billion in 2022. The market is projected to grow from USD 1.07 billion in 2023 to USD 1.57 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period. A ship rudder is a device used to steer a ship in a particular direction. Located behind the stern of the propeller, it creates a horizontal force and steering movement around the vessel's center of gravity by redirecting the water flow to the foil surface. Moreover, to increase the ship’s steering efficiency, the maximum turning angle is to be set lower than 35 degrees. Furthermore, operation beyond 35 degrees is expected to reduce the efficiency and work-life of the rudder due to the formation of eddies on the back of the rudder.


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The power efficiency of a ship's rudder can be improved by increasing the rudder area, positioning the rudder in the propeller flow, and improving the quality of the rudder and steering gear. Rudder helps improve the maneuverability of the ship at low speeds. Rudder balance is an important function of a rudder to access power efficiency. Rudder balance is determined by the center pressure of the rudder and the position of the rudder shaft. The performance and operational efficiency of a ship rudder depends on the skill of the operator.


Border Restrictions Imposed Amid the Pandemic Hindered Market Augmentation

Due to COVID-19, many cargo and passenger ships were banned from entering ports by local authorities. As a result, several merchant sailors ran aground on the ship itself, and the ship-owners had to pay additional costs as the ships were stranded in territorial waters for an extended period of time. Furthermore, the decrease in fishing tourism, cruise tourism, and leisure activities also impacted the global market during the pandemic. The outbreak restricted shipping traffic, with many seafarers reaching the end of their employment contracts and having to extend them. In addition, the import and export of products and goods are prohibited to prevent the risk of spreading the new coronavirus infection.

 Additionally, the pandemic halted all shipbuilding, repair and maintenance work. This had a direct impact on the market growth. In addition, there have been raw material shortages, disruptions in his chain of supply, and contract terminations to keep costs down. Therefore, all these factors have impacted the growth of the market due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Installation of Rudders with Energy Saving Devices to Boost the Ship Rudder Market Growth

Many ship manufacturers are installing energy saving devices to reduce fuel consumption and improve efficiency in the ship. Moreover, Propulsion Enhancement Devices (PIDs) or Energy Savers (ESDs) are various ducts, prewar fins, fuselage fins, rudders, caps, Counter-rotating Propellers (CRP) or other modifications made to improve the fuselage or propeller to improve efficiency. Depending on the device, the main purpose of these devices is to improve the flow around the hull or propeller to reduce fuel consumption.

The three main locations for modification are in front of the propeller, behind the propeller, or modifying the propeller or cap. The pre-whirl device is intended to improve the propeller flow conditions. Ducts can improve propulsion efficiency by improving propeller flow and using an after-swirl device to recover some of the rotational energy.

The adoption of new technologies and market trends for the purpose of energy saving are anticipated to boost the market during the study period.


Use of Composite Material for Manufacturing Ship Rudders Will Aid Market Proliferation

Rudder designs are traditionally designed to decrease hydrodynamic drag, resulting in simple designs that resemble vertically sloping wings. In metallic-covered rudders, while the coating is damaged, the metallic rudder is uncovered and gets corroded by seawater, increasing the need for inspection and maintenance.

Moreover, composite materials are used for special non-magnetic warships due to their properties. Increasingly modern technology for manufacturing these materials means that materials are available with properties that meet design requirements.

Composite materials used in the construction of anti-mine warship rudders are now the basic material for building such units in some countries. Among the composites are polymer composites that are corrosion, mold and vibration resistant.

Increasing Fleet Size of Ships across Several Categories to Propel Market Growth

The increase in ship fleet size is directly proportional to the growth of the global market. Furthermore, in recent years, the world's merchant fleet has been on a steady growth trend. However, this increase in fleet size varies according to the main ship types such as bulk carriers, tankers, aircraft carriers, and others.

According to the report, bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, and liquefied natural gas carriers are the four largest categories, which together account for 90% of the total deadweight tonnage of the world's merchant fleet. In each of these segments, newbuilding deliveries and scrapping volumes have changed over time and in proportion to the size of the existing fleet. However, it is expected to become more uniform in 2022 and resume a broader growth pattern in 2023. Owing to such developments and increase in the fleet size, the ship rudder market share is anticipated to grow during the study period.


Frequent Maintenance Requirements of Rudder or Allied Components to Hamper Market Growth

The rudder is the most important part of the ship. The ship cannot be driven if the rudder fails. A ship rudder is normally submerged in water, just like the propeller. Details of its condition can therefore only be observed during ground inspections when the ship is moored. Rudder testing also includes deformation testing. Owing to the critical maintenance schedule, this will likely restrain market growth.

Furthermore, a damaged rudder poses a high risk to the structural integrity of a ship. Without an efficient rudder, a ship cannot function properly even if all other systems are intact. Rudder functions are as important as a propeller that converts rotational kinetic energy into power. Routine maintenance includes replacement of depleted sacrificial anodes and loose trunnion access doors.


By Rudder Type Analysis

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Semi-balanced Rudder Segment to Dominate the Market Owing to Extensive Usage to Reduce Rudder Instability and Efficient Steering Action

By rudder type, the market is segmented into balanced rudder, unbalanced rudder, and semi-balanced rudder. The semi-balanced rudder segment dominated the market in 2022 due to growing advantages over balanced and unbalanced rudder types. A semi-balanced rudder often requires more torque than a balanced rudder. It is also a very common type of rudder on modern tonnage, especially container ships and twin-screw ships.

The balanced rudder segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period. Balanced rudders are used on both ships and planes. Both can display a portion of the control surface in front of the hinge, placed to lower the control load required to turn the rudder.

By Point-of-Sale Analysis

Aftermarket Segment is Anticipated to Lead Owing to Increasing Average Age of Global Ship Fleet 

By point of sale, the market is bifurcated into OEM and aftermarket. The aftermarket segment dominated the market in 2022. More than 30% of the world’s ship fleet, including bulk carriers, container ships, oil tankers, and others are above 20 years of age, which gives a higher share for the aftermarket segment. This is expected to boost the aftermarket segment during the study period.

The OEM segment is projected to grow significantly during the forecast period. The growth in the segment is backed by the rising fleet size and focus on developing advanced ships by key players such as Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, Damen Shipyard, Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. (Dsic Equipment Manufacture Co., Ltd.), and others.

By End-user Analysis

Commercial Segment to Hold Largest Share Due to Large Fleet Size 

By end-user, the market is categorized into naval, commercial, coast guard, and others. The commercial segment will dominate the market during the forecast period. The dominance of the segment is owing to the rise in fleet size for commercial applications during the study period.

The naval segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the study period owing to the launch of naval fleet upgrade programs by various governments such as India, China, Japan, and others. Coast guard and others segments are anticipated to grow marginally due to rising investments by governments across the globe for marine surveillance application.

By Ship Type Analysis

Tanker Ship Segment to Dominate the Market Owing to Increase in Procurement Contracts 

By ship type, the market is divided into container ship, passenger ship, bulk carrier, tanker ship, fishing vessel, naval ship, general cargo ships, and others. The tanker ship segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the study period owing to rise in procurement plans by emerging economies to withstand the demand. Furthermore, in January 2022, India and Sri Lanka will soon sign a long-awaited agreement to jointly develop the Trincomalee oil terminal. Lanka IOC, a subsidiary of the Indian Petroleum Corporation, operates 14 oil storage tanks, which have been in operation for 50 years now.

Bulk carrier segment is projected to grow rapidly during the forecast period. This is due to the increase in trade activities by developing countries such as India to overcome the backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), about 1.68 billion tons of cargo are transported worldwide in 177.6 million containers, traveling 998 billion ton-kilometers each year.

Fishing vessel segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period owing to increase in fishing tourism and fishing activities, especially in the Asia Pacific region. Furthermore, owing to increase in fleet size of fishing vessels, the segment is anticipated to grow.


North America Ship Rudder Market Size, 2022 (USD billion)

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In terms of geography, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. North America held a major market share in 2022 and was valued at USD 0.06 billion in 2021. The growth in this region is owing to rise in the number of large vessels and implementation of new technological advancements in ship design & development, which will boost the market growth. 

The market in Europe held the second-largest share in 2022. The high growth of the market is attributed to the growth in development activities around Europe to boost marine trade facilities. Furthermore, trade agreements between Europe-Mexico will contribute to market growth in this region as well.

The Asia Pacific market growth is attributed to the adoption of sea trade as one of the significant trade modes. Furthermore, increase in fleet size in the region is one of the major factors for the boost in market proliferation during the study period.

The market in South America will witness substantial growth in the near future. The rise in import-export activities in the region of Brazil, Chile, and others will substantially improve product demand during the forecast period. Furthermore, an increase in large number of bulk carriers in the region is projected to boost the market growth.

The Middle East & Africa region is anticipated to witness moderate growth in market during the forecast period. The increase in import of crude oil and other goods via sea routes will support market growth during the study period.  


Technological Advancements by Leading Players to Aid Market Progression

The global market is highly fragmented with the presence of various key players such as Damen Marine Components, Becker Marine Systems GmbH, Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd, Torqeedo GmbH, Italian Propellers S.r.l., and others. These players are focusing on providing technologically advanced rudders of different types such as balanced rudder and semi-balanced rudder to improve the steering efficiency of the ship, lower the fuel consumption, and improve the lifespan of ship rudder. 



  • November 2022: Kongsberg Maritime announced the launch of a new direct trunk support system for rudders. The new system transfers steering power from the rudder through the headbox and steering gear deck directly to the hull structure, ultimately saving fuel and reducing emissions.

  • July 2021: Navantia contracted Damen Marine Components (DMC) to supply a series of rudders and steering gear systems. The equipment will be installed on five of the ships, which Navantia is building for the Armada Espanola (Spanish Navy). These next-generation ships belong to the F110 frigate class. DMC's range includes supplying Navantia with Twin Van der Velden ATLANTIC rudders, specially designed to minimize noise and vibration throughout the system.

  • May 2021: University of Strathclyde developed a greener and more efficient rowing system as part of a €6 million EU-funded research project. Furthermore, as part of the aforementioned university-led GATERS project 2020, the 'Torruder' (a new propulsion and control system) is being retrofitted as part of trials on commercial ships.

  • April 2021: Nakashima Propeller Co., Ltd. acquired a majority stake in German shipbuilding supplier Becker Marine Systems GmbH. Nakashima Propeller and Becker Marine Systems will be able to offer unique technical solutions for medium and large ship types and more efficient combined systems for the apt section of vessels.

  • March 2020: Wärtsilä Technology Group signed a License and Co-operation Agreement with Kuribayashi Steamship Co. for future development, sales, and servicing of gate rudders with the consent of all joint Japanese patent holders developing gate rudder technology.


An Infographic Representation of Ship Rudder Market

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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It comprises all major aspects, such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the manufacturing process. Moreover, the report offers insights into the ship rudder market dynamics and primarily highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the market growth in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation 



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 5.6% from 2023 to 2030


Value (USD Billion)


By Rudder Type, Point of Sale, End-user, Ship Type, and Region

By Rudder Type

  • Balanced Rudder

  • Unbalanced Rudder

  • Semi-balanced Rudder

By Point of Sale

  • OEM

  • Aftermarket


By End-user

  • Naval

  • Commercial

  • Coast Guard

  • Others


By Ship Type

  • Container Ship

  • Passenger Ship

  • Bulk Carrier

  • Tanker Ship

  • Fishing Vessel

  • Naval Ship

  • General Cargo Ship

  • Others

By Geography


  • North America (By Rudder Type, Point of Sale, End-user, Ship Type, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Ship Type)

    • Canada (By Ship Type)

  • Europe (By Rudder Type, Point of Sale, End-user, Ship Type, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Ship Type)

    • Germany (By Ship Type)

    • France (By Ship Type)

    • Russia (By Ship Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Ship Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Rudder Type, Point of Sale, End-user, Ship Type, and Country)

    • China (By Ship Type)

    • India (By Ship Type)

    • Japan (By Ship Type)

    • South Korea (By Ship Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Ship Type)

  • Latin America (By Rudder Type, Point of Sale, End-user, Ship Type, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Ship Type)

    • Colombia (By Ship Type)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Ship Type)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Rudder Type, Point of Sale, End-user, Ship Type, and Country)

    • UAE (By Ship Type)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Ship Type)

    • Africa (By Ship Type)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Ship Type)


Frequently Asked Questions

As per the Fortune Business Insights study, the market size was USD 1.03 billion in 2022.

The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% over the forecast period.

The semi-balanced rudder segment is expected to lead the market due to advantages over other rudder types.

The market size in the U.S. stood at USD 0.07 billion in 2022.

Increasing fleet size of ships across several platforms will surge the demand for ship rudders.

Some of the top players in the market are Damen Marine Components, Becker Marine Systems GmbH, and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co.

Frequent maintenance requirements of rudder or allied components may hamper the market growth.

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