Providing premium customer service is a mission shared by OSG and its commercial pool partners
OSG is the only major tanker company that provides customers a transportation choice across all crude oil tanker vessel classes: ULCC, VLCC, Suezmax, Aframax, Panamax and Lightering.  The Company's crude oil tanker fleet totals 35 owned, operated and newbuild vessels. 

The Company’s crude oil commercial strategy is to build scale in key trading areas in order to provide superior reliability and service to quality focused customers. Scale is afforded through commercial pool participation, which has furthered the Company’s ability to build long-term partnerships with companies and develop cargo systems in select geographies. Cargo systems enhance vessel utilization, thereby generating higher TCE revenues.

Internationally, commercial pools are formed by like-minded ship owners of similarly sized, modern, well-maintained vessels. Operating a large number of vessels as an integrated transportation system enables pools to provide greater flexibility, reliability and service to customers on demand. Cargo systems are built around COAs that guarantee a certain frequency of cargo lift at either fixed or spot rates. Building COAs in select geographies enables triangulation and improves the utilization of a ship by minimizing the ballast leg of a round trip voyage. For example, a voyage combination carrying cargo from Venezuela to Northwest Europe, then ballasting to the North Sea to load and carry cargo from the North Sea to the U.S. Atlantic Coast maximizes vessel utilization by minimizing the distance the vessel travels in ballast (i.e., without cargo).

Pools employ experienced commercial charterers and operators who have close working relationships with customers and brokers, while technical management is usually performed by each ship owner. One important area of like-mindedness is in operations: all owners are similarly committed to the safety of seafarers and maintaining ships to the highest of standards. Providing premium customer service is a mission shared by all.

OSG participates in four crude oil tanker pools: Tankers International, Aframax International, Panamax International, and Suezmax International. While each operates in generally the same way, the characteristics of different market segments, geographic focus and established cargo contracts differ.

  • All of OSG’s ULCC and VLCC tankers participate in the Tankers International pool and trade worldwide on long-haul voyages primarily in the spot market. Tankers International, the largest VLCC pool in the world, was founded in 2000.  Typical routes include the Arabian Gulf to the Far East, Western Europe, the U.S. Gulf or Caribbean, as well as from the North Sea and West Africa to the U.S. Gulf, India, China and Southeast Asia. In recent years, crude oil exports from West Africa have expanded as imports to Asia have increased opportunities for vessels otherwise returning in ballast from Europe and North America to load cargoes for delivery East.

  • All of the Company’s Suezmax tankers are in the Suezmax International pool, established in 2008, and trade predominantly in the spot market in the Atlantic Basin. OSG entered this market segment in 2008.

  • Eleven (nine owned and two time chartered) of OSG’s Aframaxes are in the Aframax International pool, co-founded by OSG and PDV Marina, S.A. in 1996.  OSG's Aframax fleet is predominantly deployed on short and medium-haul routes in the Atlantic Basin. The vessels trade both in the spot and short-term time charter markets. Typical routes include Venezuela, East Coast Mexico, the North Sea and the Mediterranean to destinations in the U.S. Gulf, U.S. Atlantic Coast ports, Canada, Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean.

  • Thirteen of the Company's crude oil and coated Panamaxes are in the PI Pool, established in partnership with Sonap in 2004, with eight placed directly by OSG and five time-chartered to our pool partners and entered by them into the pool. The tankers are the largest size vessels able to transit the Panama Canal fully laden, affording the flexibility to trade efficiently in the Atlantic and Pacific basins. OSG’s Panamax tanker fleet trades in the Atlantic markets between the Caribbean Sea, loading crude and petroleum products for the United States, or from Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and West Africa to the United States and in the Pacific markets loading from Peru, Ecuador and Colombia for the U.S. West Coast and West Coast Central America.

  • Lightering is the ship-to-ship offshore transfer of crude oil from larger vessels such as ULCCs, VLCCs or Suezmaxes to smaller tankers that are capable of entering shallow-draft ports. A benefit of lightering is that it enables the off-loading cargo owner the ability to vary their deliveries by size, location and date as opposed to a single discharge at one location. Crude oil lightering is a complex offshore operation dependent on effective scheduling, specialized equipment and expert ship handling. The diversity of OSG’s lightering fleet and presence in the three primary lightering areas in the United States offers customers significant logistical benefits and reduced waiting times and fees associated with delayed loading and unloading.

For more information about the crude oil tanker market, click here.

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