Clarksons: Tankers Had Lower Life Expectancy than Bulkers

The tanker fleet has phased out quite rapidly, according to the latest Clarksons’ review on demolition of ships.

Different trends have been recorded over the recent period that saw various types of ships retired and scrapped at different ages, with some ship reaching up to 30 years of service.

However, based on the review, by 30 years old the ship repair costs exceed the profit made from the ship enticing owners to demolish their old units.

“By start of October 2014, 60-85% of the fleet built in 1992 or earlier had been scrapped, with 59.7m dwt removed from capacity built 1996 or earlier over the period,” Clarksons data shows.

On the other hand, there seems to be a slightly different pattern with bulkers.

According to the review, 83% of the vessels built in 1984 or earlier have been scrapped, but from then on the figure drops to 20-40% for 1992-93 built ships, with 107.0m dwt of capacity built 1996 or earlier removed. Tankers have generally had a lower life expectancy than bulkers.

Based on this model,  Clarksons says that after 5 years of demolition and tanker phase-out, the fleet of ships built 20 to 30 years ago is much diminished.

“If the phase out rates for the last five years are applied to today’s fleet built 2001 or earlier for the next 5 year period, about 60m dwt of tankers would be demolished (12m dwt a year). 90m dwt of bulkers would also be gone (21m dwt a year). That’s 30m dwt of removals a year, not too far from the recent trend.

Predicting demolition by phasing out ships at a particular age is OK, but in practice some ships age better than others. Then there are ships which leave the fleet through conversion to offshore or another activity. But behaviour patterns can change. If dry cargo charterers became as demanding as their counterparts in the tanker business, the “age gap” between tankers and bulkers might close and bulker demolition could be very different,” the London-based research firm concludes.

Source: Clarksons, Image: IMO

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