Moving Energy


About the map

Physical commodities trading refers to the actual movement of goods from place to place in the world—work that is done largely by seagoing vessels. The gasoline or diesel that fuel vehicles. The metals that make up electric cars and batteries. The oil or natural gas that heat homes. The components of the plastics that make up the multitude of goods used every day. Even the building blocks of the medicines that keep us healthy. They most all spend some time at sea.

At Gunvor, we believe it is important to always remember the physical nature of our business and that every day we have more than 100 vessels on the water, moving safely between the major ports of the world.

The map on our homepage shows the movements of the global merchant fleet over a portion of the year (prior to the war in Ukraine), overlaid on a bathymetric map. Included are tankers (for oil and chemicals) and gas bulk (for liquified natural gas), among other vessels. Some of these dots Gunvor’s vessels—whose paths we monitor and emissions we track.

But more than dots on a map, they are the representation of a highly integrated global economy.  

Gunvor has more than 100 vessels at sea every day

Who created this map?

The map was created by Kiln based on data from the UCL Energy Institute (UCL EI)

Duncan Clark & Robin Houston from Kiln

Julia Schaumeier & Tristan Smith from the UCL EI

How was the map created?

UCL EI took data showing location and speed of ships and cross-checked it with another database to get the vessel characteristics, such as engine type and hull measurements. With this information they were able to compute the CO2 emissions for each observed hour, following the approach laid out in the Third IMO Greenhouse Gas Study 2014. Kiln took the resulting dataset and visualized it with WebGL on top of a specially created base map, which shows bathymetry (ocean depth), based on the GEBCO_2014 Grid (version 20150318), as well as continents and major rivers from Natural Earth.