Tanker trades and hulls by segment

Analysis of the tanker trades by sector shows that although the VLCC and Suezmaxe trades involve much more double-hulled tonnage in the West than in the East, The Aframax segment is somewhat more balanced, while the Panamax trades actually show a higher proportion of double-hulls in the East than in the West.

Panamax 50-80,000 dwt crude trades

Panamax trade represents some 8% of total tanker trade. The total Panamax trade was calculated by Fearnleys to be some 190 m dwt, of which 94 m dwt included single-hull (SH) and 67m dwt double-hull (DH) tankers. The balance is made up of vessels with double sides or double bottoms.

Some 26% of the SH Panamax trading in 2002 was to N America, 16% to Asia Pacific. Some 60% originated from the Caribbean area.

The Panamax fleet including orders comprises some 421 tankers totalling 28m dwt. The existing fleet has an average age of 16 years with an uneven age distribution, 42 tankers built before 1980, 132 built 1980-1985, 108 built 1986-2002, 32 in 2003 plus 107 to be delivered the next three years according to the LRFairplay database (the orderbook represents more than a third of the fleet). Some 35% of the Panamax fleet is double-hulled, 15% with double bottom or sides and half the fleet single-hulled.

The dominating trade is from the Caribbean to N America East/Gulf . The three single biggest trades 2002 were:

  1. Caribbean to N America E/Gulf    39.6m dwt         21% of total
  2. Black Sea to Mediterranean        12.8 ”                7% ”
  3. SE Asia to Korea/China               9.7 ”                5% ”

The trades with the largest shares of DH tankers were:

  1. SE Asia to Japan                       2.7m dwt         66% DH
  2. China to Japan                          1.2m dwt         58% ”
  3. China to Other Far East              2.4m dwt         56% ”
  4. S America W to N America West   2.4m dwt         56% ”

The trades with the largest shares of SH tankers were

  1. SE Asia to SE Asia                     1.2m dwt         71% SH
  2. Caribbean to N America E/Gulf    19.2m dwt         63%  ”
  3. Caribbean to C America East        5.2m dwt         58%  ”

Aframax (80-120,000 dwt) trades

Aframax trade represents some 35% of total tanker trade. The total Aframax trade was calculated by Fearnleys to be some 819 m dwt, of which 192 m dwt included SH and 516m dwt DH tankers. The balance is made up of vessels with double sides or double bottoms.

Some 34% of the SH Aframaxes in 2002 traded to Europe and 30% to N America. Some 39% of the total Aframax trade originated from the Caribbean area and some 19% from the NW European areas.

The Aframax fleet including orders comprises some 760 tankers totalling 75m dwt. The existing fleet has an average age of 11 years with a rather even age distribution, 132 tankers built before 1985, followed by a period with even distribution of 18-30 delivered per year totalling 275 tankers until 1997. The deliveries of 34 and 46 tankers in 1998/99 created a small peak, but the big peak will be in 2003 with some 80 deliveries  and 119 to be delivered in the next three years, according to the LRFairplay database. Some 58% of the fleet is double-hulled, 12% of this segment consists of vessels with double bottom or sides.

There were two dominating Aframax trades, Caribbean to N America East/Gulf representing 27% of the Aframax trade and intra NW Europe representing 16%. Trades to Europe/Mediterranean represented just over a third of the market, and trades to N America just under a third of the market. The three biggest Aframax trades were:

1.            Caribbean to N America E/Gulf 218 m dwt    27% of total

2.            NW Europe to NW Europe       128 ”           16% ”

3.            N Africa to Mediterranean        78 ”             9% ”

The trades with the biggest shares of DH tankers were

1.            Middle East to Japan                   9.8 m dwt    90% DH

2.            Caribbean to C America East         4.8 ”           84%  ”

3.            Caribbean to N America East/Gulf 170.4 ”           78%  ”

4.            Middle East to Other Far East      11.0 ”           78%  ”

The trades with the biggest shares of SH tankers were

1.            SE Asia to SE Asia                  10.1 m dwt    67% SH

2.            Middle East to SE Asia             26.8 ”           82%  ”

3.            SE Asia to N America West        3.4 ”           60%  ”

Suezmax (120-200,000 dwt) trades

Suezmax trade represents some 22% of total tanker trade. The total Suezmax trade was calculated by Fearnleys to be some 605 m dwt, of which 110 m dwt included SH and 359m dwt DH tankers. The balance is made up of vessels with double sides or double bottoms.

Some 34% of the SH Suezmax trading in 2002 was to Europe/Mediterranean and 19% to N America. Only some 5-10 Suezmax tankers pass through the Suez Canal northbound per month. Some 33% of the Suezmax trade was from NW European areas.

The Suezmax fleet including orders comprises just under 372 tankers totalling 55m dwt.  The existing fleet has an average age of 10 years with a rather even age distribution, and only 56 tankers built before 1989. The peak will be in 2003 with some 30 deliveries and 68 to be delivered over the coming years, according to the LRFairplay database. Some 66% of the fleet is double-hulled, and 5% with double bottom or sides.

The three single biggest trades were:

  1. N Africa to Mediterranean              47.7 m dwt    9% of total
  2. Black Sea to Mediterranean            37.8 ”            6% ”
  3. W Africa to N America East/Gulf      33.9 ”           6% ”

The trades with the biggest shares of double-hull tankers were

1.            Caribbean to N America East/Gulf 10.2 m dwt   86% DH

2.            Caribbean to Mediterranean       5.9 ”           82%  ”

3.            N Africa to NW Europe              6.2 ”           81%  ”

4.            NW Europe to NW Europe          6.2 ”           81%  ”

The trades with the biggest shares of single-hull tankers were

1.            Middle East to Other Far East     7.5 m dwt    85% SH

2.            Middle East to SE Asia              4.0 ”           74%  ”

3.            Middle East to Mediterranean     3.0 ”           64%  ”

VLCC trades

VLCC trade represents some 36% of total tanker trade. The total VLCC trade was calculated by Fearnleys to be some 849 m dwt, of which 397 m dwt included SH and 437m dwt DH tankers. The balance is made up of vessels with double sides or double bottoms.

Some 5% of the SH VLCC trading in 2002 was to Europe/Mediterranean and 13% to N America. More than 60% of all VLCC trades goes East and some 67% of the Middle East VLCC trade goes East.

The VLCC fleet including orders comprises some 513 tankers totalling 149m dwt.  The existing fleet has an average age of 9 years and more than 80% of the fleet built in the 1990s and later, with only 56 tankers built before 1989. Some 51% of the fleet is double-hulled, and 2% with double bottom or sides.

A total of just over 1200 VLCCs have been built to date. Altogether 218 VLCCs were built in the 1990s and 144 so far this decade.

The three single biggest trades were:

  1. Middle East to Japan                     178.0 m dwt  21% of total
  2. Middle East to Other Far East         153.2 “         18% “
  3. Middle East to N America East/Gulf    92.1 “         11% “

Some 77% of the VLCC trade is from the Middle East, and VLCC trade is some 36% of total tanker trade.

The trades with the biggest shares of DH tankers were

5.            Caribbean to N America East/Gulf   10.2 m dwt  86% DH

6.            Caribbean to Mediterranean            5.9 “         82%  “

7.            N Africa to NW Europe                   6.2 “         81%  “

8.            NW Europe to NW Europe               6.2 “         81%  “

The trades with the biggest shares of SH tankers were

1.            Middle East to Other Far East          7.5 m dwt 85% SH

2.            Middle East to SE Asia                   4.0 “      74%  “

3.            Middle East to Mediterranean          3.0 “      64%  “