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What is happening to the average voyage length of crude oil tankers?

Analysis by Poten & Partners Average Laden Distances of the Major Crude Tanker Segments(Image Credit: Poten & Partners)According to Poten, tanker market pundits are continuously discussing the reasons for the strength of the market, especially since the world is experiencing only modest demand growth. What are the key drivers for the significant increases in rates? Some people point out that ton-mile demand has increased as a result of more long-haul crude oil movements, i.e. average distances have increased. These statements are generally based on anecdotal information, so Poten decided to take a closer look at the reported spot fixture activity in the main crude tanker segments to see if our data supports this statement.Poten starts off with an important qualifier: the fixture data is good, but it only covers reported spot market fixtures, it does not track all worldwide vessel movements. Nevertheless, Poten thinks that reported spot fixtures can be a useful indicator of trends and changes in tradeflows.The figure above, shows the development of average distances in each of the major crude tanker segments over the last five years. The data confirms that the VLCCs are employed on the long-haul voyages, while the Aframaxes do primarily shorter trips, with ...

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