An Assessment Of The Market For Tankers Of 300,000-DWT And Over

The recent purchase of 450,000- dwt tankers by Exxon, following on closely from the newbuilding orders placed by Bergesen for two 412,000-tonners with segregated ballast tanks, have created a stirring of interest in ULCCs (tankers of 300,000 dwt and over).

These developments come at a time when the ULCC fleet is more adversely affected by the tanker crisis than any other sector of the fleet, in terms of cancellation, inactivity and profitability. In view also of the generally poor prospects foreseen for the tanker market, the recent revival of interest in ULCCs poses some questions. Exxon and Bergesen have been among the most successful charterers and owners, respectively, during the tanker market slump, and for this reason their actions must be taken seriously as an indicator of possible trends. The HPD survey of "ULCC Trading Opportunities," through an examination of the present ULCC scene and an investigation of likely future developments, concludes that Exxon and Bergesen may indeed prove to be the forerunners in a sector of the tanker market, which could turn from being the ugly duckling into the swan (although not perhaps the golden goose).

The survey "ULCC Trading Opportunities," includes: (1) An analysis of ULCC fleet developments, showing the effects of the tanker crisis on the size and structure of the fleet; (2) An examination of ULCC trading costs, comparing them with those of VLCCs; (3) An analysis of ULCC employment, identifying the ports and terminals available for use by ULCCs, the extent of multi-porting and lightening, and the routes used by ULCCs; (4) An examination of the charter market for ULCCs, highlighting trends in single voyage and time-charter rates; (5) An analysis of ULCC commitment to period charters up to the end of 1979, and (6) A forecast of employment prospects for ULCCs on the basis of comparative trading economics, crude oil trades, and terminal facilities. "ULCC Trading Opportunities —An Assessment of the Market for Tankers of 300,000-dwt and Over," is published by HPD Shipping Publications, price U.S. $150 overseas, and £70 per copy in the U.K. To order your copy, write to HPD Shipping Publications, 34 Brook Street, London W1Y 2LL, England.

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