International Crude Oil
Crude oil tankers are customarily divided into four categories according to their deadweight tonnage size:
VLCC (Very Large Crude Carriers) (250,000 + DWT) are typically used for long-haul trades originating from the Arabian Gulf, Caribbean, Brazil and West Africa, with occasional voyages from North Africa and the North Sea.
Suezmax (120,000 - 200,000 DWT) tankers are mainly employed in the Atlantic Basin for exports from West Africa, the North Sea and the Former Soviet Union (FSU.)
Aframax (80,000 - 120,000 DWT) are deployed in much more diverse trading patterns than the larger tankers and transport crude from virtually all the major crude exporting regions in both the Atlantic and Pacific Basin.
Panamax (50,000 - 80,000 DWT) tankers are used to transport crude oil and petroleum products. Modern Panamax tankers employed in the crude and fuel oil trades have carved out a niche in the Caribbean and Latin American region as a result of their ability to transverse the Panama Canal and because size restrictions in certain ports restrict the use of larger tankers. The OSG international crude oil fleet comprises all of these vessel classes, except for the Suezmax.
The international tanker market is highly cyclical; driven by the balance between the number vessels in the worldwide fleet as compared to demand for cargo voyages, increases or decreases in worldwide oil consumption, growing or lessening dependency on imports by major oil consuming countries and changing trends in the length of voyages.