The fuel that your car consumes during your daily commute to work is likely to have been in your car in the first place thanks to one of the top 7 VLCC tanker companies in the world.
We define a VLCC tanker company as an oil tanker corporation that has at least one very large crude carrier in its fleet. You see, oil tankers are classified into crude tankers and product tankers. As the names suggest, crude tankers transport crude oil (or raw product, if you will) while product tankers (generally smaller in size) move refined oil products such as petroleum.
What’s so special about this “very large crude carrier thing,” you ask? Well, oil tankers come in a variety of sizes, each with a corresponding carrying capacity measured via deadweight metric tons (DWT). The VLCC is a giant oil tanker that is capable of holding hundreds of thousands of tons of crude oil as it cruises across oceans. Specifically, the capacity of these maritime behemoths range from 160,000 DWT to 319,999 DWT, if we’re using the average freight rate assessment system, or from 200,000 DWT to 320,000 DWT, if we’re using the flexible market scale system. Either way, that’s a lot of oil to handle.
While there’s an even more leviathan class of oil tanker, the ultra large crude carrier (ULCC) that is capable of holding from 320,000 DWT to 550,000 DWT, such a ship is even rarer, and only a handful of companies have them. Hence, the VLCC fleet of an oil tanker company is still the most widespread way of assessing how capable a company is of moving large amounts of crude oil in as few shipments as possible. In addition, every VLCC an oil tanker company possesses will contribute greatly to the total DWT capacity that the company can handle.
Speaking of DWT capacity, we previously ranked oil tanker companies based on how much oil they can ship. Check which company topped the list of the 10 largest oil tanker shipping companies in the world.
TankerOperator, a magazine that covers the oil tanker shipping industry, releases yearly rankings of the top 30 tankers in the world. The rankings include information on the major developments for each company, as well as the latest fleet size for each oil tanker operator. But ultimately, the companies that make it to the top 30 are then ranked based on their DWT capacity. The latest ranking for the oil tanker industry was released in March 2017. But while we will also note the DWT capacity (for fiscal year 2016) for each company on this list of the top 7 VLCC tanker companies in the world, the rankings on this article will be based on how many VLCC tankers each company has as of the latest reports and information. It should be noted that Teekay Corporation (NYSE:TK), which has the third-largest DWT capacity in the world thanks to its fleet of 107 tankers, has just 1 VLCC, and therefore was nowhere near making this list.