The crude tanker industry is fragmented
The crude tanker industry is highly fragmented. The total world fleet of VLCCs (very large crude carriers) was 633 at the end of 2014. Out of these, only 56 VLCCs are operated by the top six US crude tanker companies, which is merely 9%. Similarly, the top six US crude tanker companies combined operate 79 Suezmax vessels out of the worldwide Suezmax fleet of 479. Fragmented industries are highly competitive.
Crude tanker industry performance
In the last five months, Nordic American Tanker (NAT) has performed the best in the industry with a gain of 44%. Teekay Tankers (TNK) and Tsakos Energy Navigation (TNP) are also up by 38% and 36%, respectively. Euronav and DHT Holdings (DHT) gained 25% and 4.5%, respectively, while only Frontline (FRO) experienced a negative return of 4%.
Why did some crude tanker companies outperform industry peers, while other companies underperformed? In this comparative series, we’ll try to answer that question by comparing the key differences between the six companies we mentioned above. In this series, we hope to help investors better understand the crude tanker stocks, and which companies may outperform and underperform in the future.
Investors who are interested in a diversified shipping exposure could consider the Guggenheim Shipping ETF (SEA). The crude tanker industry has recently benefited from the decline in oil prices (DBO) and the increased supply from OPEC nations.