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Saturday, September 22, 2018


72 part-laden VLCCs through the Suez Canal Northbound in 2000

According to information from the Suez Canal Authority, 72 laden VLCCs have this year passed northbound through the Suez Canal.  According to Leth Suez, this is done in combination with the SUMED pipeline, which carries part of the cargo.  The number of VLCCs passing southbound in ballast through the canal is projected to increase by some 10% to 220 this year. Tanker Suez Canal transits are projected to increase considerably this year for other northbound laden tankers as well, the biggest segment being below 50,000 dwt.  There have been a number of projects in the past to expand the capacity of the Suez Canal to enable transits of laden VLCCs, but we understand that this will not happen in the short or medium term. See our web page

Net N. American oil import declining in 2000, projected to increase in 2001

Canadian, Mexican as well as US oil production is, according to IEA, projected to increase marginally in 2000 by a total of 0.18mbd, and by a further 0.5 mbd in 2001. However as N American oil demand is projected to increase by 0.2 mbd in 2000 and 0.51 mbd in 2001, oil imports are still projected to increase.

High oil prices may lower international economic growth says OECD

If the oil prices stay at the current high level, this may trigger inflation and lower growth in the OECD area. In its World Economic Outlook, OECD nevertheless expects growth but at a slower pace than this year. For this year OECD economic growth is expected to be 4.3%, 3.3% next year and 3.1% in 2002. For the U.S. economy a more marked slowdown is expected, from the 5.2% growth this year to 3.5% next year and 3.3% in 2002. The corresponding growth figures for Japan are 1.9%, 2.3% and 2.0%.

E-commerce of little interest?

In last week’s issue of the Weekly NEWS we included a questionnaire to gauge the interest for e-commerce among our membership. So far, we have only received four responses and we would be grateful if more could give their comments.  The questionnaire will be treated confidentially and comments are only published with the approval of the sender.

Although few, some very good comments were received.

Mads Meldgaard of Teekay says that e-commerce will no doubt be important within the next year or so.  Many functions within tanker shipping are exposed to major changes in the way that business will be done in the future. E-commerce is just one of them and we are very dedicated to progress such initiatives once they have proven themselves to be value accretive to the existing processes. Mads Meldgaard says that irrespective of his sceptical views on E-Chartering in its current format, he totally believes that doing a majority of the future business on the web is inevitable. It will take some time, during which we will learn how to transfer the current tools in the most efficient manner. He thinks the industry is the cleanest supply and demand driven market in the world today and trying to commoditize it from one day to the next is hardly likely nor sensible, so we will have to be patient.

Another chartering manager believes in e-commerce only as an information exchange system, except for crude cargoes, which will probably be increasingly carried on a COA basis with the major owning companies. He does not believe trading cargoes will be placed on the web.  He thinks shipbrokers should be more concerned about Tankers International taking the high commission VLCC business on a COA basis than dotcom startups. He thinks that e-commerce might work in S+P, sums, where the Norwegian Saleform reigns supreme and where MTO could save substantial sums. However, this does not appear to be the direction in which e-commerce is going.

An owner believes that the variety of requirements from charterers will make concluding a fixture without personal contact difficult.  The www chartering may place too many owners in competition with each other and will result in a negative pressure on the market level.

The questionnaire can be found at:

We encourage our membership to give us their comments on this issue. Please send E-mail to: or