Nor-Shipping 2017: Expo highlights maritime sector changes

Photo courtesy of Nor-Shipping 2017
Karl Johans Gate toward Palace, with Nor-Shipping streamers.

M. Michael Brady
Asker, Norway

Nor-Shipping is a maritime sector trade fair held over four days in the Oslo region in odd-numbered years during the May-June turn of the month. It’s a key meeting place for the global maritime sector, not least because shipping, offshore, and related industries are pre-eminent in Norway. Members of the Royal Family and Cabinet Ministers attend its opening, and its professional and social events mark city life for its duration.

Photo courtesy of Nor-Shipping 2017
Staff wearing bunad folk costumes at the Norwegian Maritime Authority stand.

In 2015, Nor-Shipping celebrated its 50th anniversary (Further reading). This year’s Nor-Shipping, held Tuesday, May 30, through Friday, June 2, highlighted ongoing changes throughout the maritime sector. A new hall named “Disruptive Sustainability” was dedicated to the activities of agile new businesses as well as existing enterprises that are adapting and restructuring to meet the challenges of change. One of the new breakthrough technology products presented in the hall was the Blueye Pioneer underwater drone (, click on EN for English), a lightweight (less than 18 lb.) replacement for divers or remote-operated underwater vehicles.

Photo: Blueye
Blueye Pioneer underwater drone, one of the new technologies featured at the conference.

At the opposite end of the range of vessel weights, Nor-Shipping 2017 also hosted the presentation of the Ship of the Year, an annual award by Skipsrevyen (Shipping Review), a maritime trade journal for the Nordic countries. The NKT Victoria, a 16,171 gross tonnage cable-laying vessel built at the Kleven Verft shipyard in Ulsteinvik, Norway, was named Ship of the Year (, click on EN for English).

Photo: Olav Thokle / Kleven Verft
NKT Victoria, Ship of the Year 2017.

In addition to being a trade fair, Nor-Shipping hosts professional symposia on technical and mercantile topics within the maritime sector. At Nor-Shipping 2017, energy efficiency, innovative ship design, and young entrepreneurship were in focus, each with an award. There were three week-long ocean industry podiums devoted to Africa, Brazil, and the Asian Belt. And there were sporting events, including the Mission to Seafarers Fun-Run to raise funds to support seafarers and their families in times of crisis as well as a water sports festival that included a sailing regatta.

Nor-Shipping 2017 facts & figures:
Venues: Norges Varemesse/Norway Trade Fairs hall ( and adjacent Thon Hotel Arena at Lillestrøm, halfway between Oslo and Oslo Airport, and Tjuvholmen, part of the Fjord City waterfront renewal of Oslo

• 21,000 square meters (226,042 square feet) exhibition space
• 900 exhibiting companies
• 15,500 visitors
• 35,000 delegates attending event week activities
• 19 national pavilions

Further information and reading:
• Nor-Shipping website at, continuously updated, in English only

• Nor-Shipping 2015 a success, Norwegian American Weekly, June 16, 2015, link:

This article originally appeared in the July 14, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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M. Michael Brady

M. Michael Brady was born, raised, and educated as a scientist in the United States. After relocating to the Oslo area, he turned to writing and translating. In Norway, he is now classified as a bilingual dual national.