A tanker (or tank ship or tankship) is a ship designed to transport or store liquids or gases in bulk. Major types of tankship include the oil tanker, the chemical tanker, and gas carrier. Tankers also carry commodities such as vegetable oils, molasses and wine. In the United States Navy and Military Sealift Command, a tanker used to refuel other ships is called an oiler (or replenishment oiler if it can also supply dry stores) but many other navies use the terms tanker and replenishment tanker. Tankers were first developed in the late 19th century as iron and steel hulls and pumping systems were developed. As of 2005, there were just over 4,000 tankers and supertankers 10,000 LT DWT or greater operating worldwide.
Tankers can range in size of capacity from several hundred tons, which includes vessels for servicing small harbours and coastal settlements, to several hundred thousand tons, for long-range haulage. Besides ocean- or seagoing tankers there are also specialized inland-waterway tankers which operate on rivers and canals with an average cargo capacity up to some thousand tons. A wide range of products are carried by tankers, including:
Tankers are a relatively new concept, dating from the later years of the 19th century. Before this, technology had simply not supported the idea of carrying bulk liquids. The market was also not geared towards transporting or selling cargo in bulk, therefore most ships carried a wide range of different products in different holds and traded outside fixed routes. Liquids were usually loaded in casks—hence the term "tonnage", which refers to the volume of the holds in terms of how many tuns or casks of wine could be carried. Even potable water, vital for the survival of the crew, was stowed in casks. Carrying bulk liquids in earlier ships posed several problems:
Tankers were first used by the oil industry to transfer refined fuel in bulk from refineries to customers. This would then be stored in large tanks ashore, and subdivided for delivery to individual locations. The use of tankers caught on because other liquids were also cheaper to transport in bulk, store in dedicated terminals, then subdivide. Even the Guinness brewery used tankers to transport the stout across the Irish Sea.
Different products require different handling and transport, with specialised variants such as "chemical tankers", "oil tankers", and "LNG carriers" developed to handle dangerous chemicals, oil and oil-derived products, and liquefied natural gas respectively. These broad variants may be further differentiated with respect to ability to carry only a single product or simultaneously transport mixed cargoes such as several different chemicals or refined petroleum products. 458 meters (1,503 ft) in length and 69 meters (226 ft) wide. Supertankers are one of the three preferred methods for transporting large quantities of oil, along with pipeline transport and rail.Among oil tankers, supertankers are designed for transporting oil around the Horn of Africa from the Middle East. The supertanker Seawise Giant, scrapped in 2010, was
Tighter regulation means that tankers now cause fewer environmental disasters resulting from oil spills than in the 1970s. Amoco Cadiz , Braer, Erika , Exxon Valdez , Prestige and Torrey Canyon were examples of accidents. Oil spills from tankers amounted to around 1,000 tonnes in 2020 from three incidents (an all-time low), down from 636,000 tonnes from 92 incidents in 1979 - a fall of 99.8%.
Many modern tankers are designed for a specific cargo and a specific route. Draft is typically limited by the depth of water in loading and unloading harbors; and may be limited by the depth of straits along the preferred shipping route. Cargoes with high vapor pressure at ambient temperatures may require pressurized tanks or vapor recovery systems. Tank heaters may be required to maintain heavy crude oil, residual fuel, asphalt, wax, or molasses in a fluid state for offloading.
Tankers used for liquid fuels are classified according to their capacity.
In 1954, Shell Oil developed the average freight rate assessment (AFRA) system, which classifies tankers of different sizes. To make it an independent instrument, Shell consulted the London Tanker Brokers’ Panel (LTBP). At first, they divided the groups as General Purpose for tankers under 25,000 tons deadweight (DWT); Medium Range for ships between 25,000 and 45,000 DWT and Large Range (later Long Range) for the then-enormous ships that were larger than 45,000 DWT. The ships became larger during the 1970s, and the list was extended, where the tons are metric tonnes:
At nearly 380 vessels in the size range 279,000 t DWT to 320,000 t DWT, these are by far the most popular size range among the larger VLCCs. Only seven vessels are larger than this, and approximately 90 between 220,000 t DWT and 279,000 t DWT.
As of 2005, the United States Maritime Administration's statistics count 4,024 tankers of 10,000 LT DWT or greater worldwide. 2,582 of these are double-hulled. Panama is the leading flag state of tankers, with 592 registered ships. Five other flag states have more than two hundred registered tankers: Liberia (520), The Marshall Islands (323), Greece (233), Singapore (274) and The Bahamas (215). These flag states are also the top six in terms of fleet size in terms of deadweight tonnage.
Greece, Japan, and the United States are the top three owners of tankers (including those owned but registered to other nations), with 733, 394, and 311 vessels respectively. These three nations account for 1,438 vessels or over 36% of the world's fleet.
Asian companies dominate the construction of tankers. Of the world's 4,024 tankers, 2,822 (over 70%) were built in South Korea, Japan and China.
Petroleum Tables, a book by William Davies, an early tanker captain, was published in 1903, although Davies had printed earlier versions himself.Including his calculations on the expansion and contraction of bulk oil, and other information for tanker officers, it went into multiple editions, and in 1915 The Petroleum World commented that it was "the standard book for computations and conversions."
Tanker may refer to:
A cargo ship or freighter is a merchant ship that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year, handling the bulk of international trade. Cargo ships are usually specially designed for the task, often being equipped with cranes and other mechanisms to load and unload, and come in all sizes. Today, they are almost always built of welded steel, and with some exceptions generally have a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years before being scrapped.
A merchant ship, merchant vessel, trading vessel, or merchantman is a watercraft that transports cargo or carries passengers for hire. This is in contrast to pleasure craft, which are used for personal recreation, and naval ships, which are used for military purposes.
A tank car is a type of railroad car or rolling stock designed to transport liquid and gaseous commodities.
A bulk carrier,bulker is a merchant ship specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo, such as grains, coal, ore, steel coils and cement, in its cargo holds. Since the first specialized bulk carrier was built in 1852, economic forces have led to continued development of these ships, resulting in increased size and sophistication. Today's bulk carriers are specially designed to maximize capacity, safety, efficiency, and durability.
Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities.
A chemical tanker is a type of tanker ship designed to transport chemicals in bulk. As defined in MARPOL Annex II, chemical tanker means a ship constructed or adapted for carrying in bulk any liquid product listed in chapter 17 of the International Bulk Chemical Code. As well as industrial chemicals and clean petroleum products, such ships also often carry other types of sensitive cargo which require a high standard of tank cleaning, such as palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda, and methanol.
A tank truck, gas truck, fuel truck, or tanker truck or tanker, is a motor vehicle designed to carry liquids or gases on roads. The largest such vehicles are similar to railroad tank cars which are also designed to carry liquid loads. Many variants exist due to the wide variety of liquids that can be transported. Tank trucks tend to be large; they may be insulated or non-insulated; pressurized or non-pressurized; and designed for single or multiple loads. Some are semi-trailer trucks. They are difficult to drive and highly susceptible to rollover due to their high center of gravity, and potentially the free surface effect of liquids sloshing in a partially filled tank.
Crowley Maritime Corporation, is based in Jacksonville, Florida. Founded in 1892, Crowley is primarily a family- and employee-owned vessel management, owner, and supply chain logistics services company, providing services globally. As of July 2016, Crowley was ranked as the 13th largest private company in Florida, employing approximately 5,300 people worldwide with revenues of $2.2 billion. It provides its services using a fleet of more than 300 vessels, consisting of RO-RO vessels, LO-LO vessels, tankers, Articulated Tug-Barges (ATBs), tugs and barges. Crowley's land-based facilities and equipment include terminals, warehouses, tank farms, and specialized vehicles.
The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company operates several crude petroleum and refined petroleum products pipelines in Israel, most notably the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline – which transports crude oil across southern Israel, between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The EAPC also operates two maritime oil terminals as well as oil storage depots in the country.
Odfjell SE is a company specialising in worldwide seaborne transportation and storage of chemicals and other speciality bulk liquids. The Odfjell fleet comprises more than 80 ships in total. The ships transport around 600 different kinds of liquids, including organic and inorganic bulk liquid chemicals, acids, animal fats, edible oils, portable alcohols and clean petroleum products. Odfjell’s ships are mainly registered in Norway (NIS) and Singapore, and are primarily manned by Norwegian and Filipino mariners.
An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG).
An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a ship designed for the bulk transport of oil or its products. There are two basic types of oil tankers: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries. Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move refined products from refineries to points near consuming markets.
A marine loading arm, also known as a mechanical loading arm, loading arm, or MLA is a mechanical arm consisting of articulated steel pipes that connect a tankship such as an oil tanker or chemical tanker to a cargo terminal. Genericized trademarks such as Chiksan are often used to refer to marine loading arms.
The history of the oil tanker is part of the evolution of the technology of oil transportation alongside the oil industry.
The National Iranian Tanker Company is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, which was privatized in 2009. As of 2011, NITC was owned by funds managing pensions for 5 million Iranians. It is the biggest tanker company in the Middle East. The company transports Iranian crude to export markets and also engages in cross-trading of crude oil cargoes for some 150 oil majors worldwide, including Royal Dutch Shell, Total SA, Saudi Aramco and state-run producers in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi. NITC has a capacity of 11 million tons per year.
BP Shipping is the maritime arm of British headquartered global oil company, BP. The unit covers the marine transport, logistics and insurance requirements of all BP's global activities.
A gas carrier, gas tanker, LPG carrier or LPG tanker is a ship designed to transport LPG, LNG, CNG, or liquefied chemical gases in bulk.
Today Makes Tomorrow (TMT) is a Taiwanese shipping company that in 2008 directly owned some 60 ships, with many more on order, including dry bulk, crude, cargo, LNG, automobile, and cement carriers.
The Teesside oil terminal is a major crude oil reception, processing, storage and export facility at Seal Sands, Middlesbrough. It receives and processes crude oil delivered by the subsea NORPIPE pipeline from the Norwegian Ekofisk field and the UK Fulmar and J-Block fields. The terminal includes facilities for exporting stabilised crude oil and liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) by tanker and pipeline.
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