Moving Energy Efficiently



Home > Glossary > Very Large Crude Carrier

Very Large Crude Carrier

A Very Large Crude Carrier, or VLCC, is a classification of large tanker ships specially designed to transport crude oil. They are an integral part of the global maritime logistics system that moves large quantities of unrefined crude oil from extraction locations to refineries worldwide. VLCCs are among the giants of the sea, with deadweight tonnage (DWT) capacities ranging from approximately 160,000 to 320,000. This means they can carry up to 2 million barrels of crude oil in their vast cargo holds. Their impressive size allows for cost-effective transportation, although their dimensions also restrict their access to certain ports and canals, necessitating the need for smaller vessels (such as Aframax and Suezmax tankers) in some cases to complete the cargo’s journey via ship-to-ship transfers or transshipment points.

Not only are these ships critical for the energy industry, but they are also subject to international regulations concerning their construction, operation, and safety, mainly under the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The design and management of a VLCC must account for environmental protections, such as double-hulled construction to minimize spill risk in the event of a collision or grounding.

VLCCs are symbols of the interconnected nature of international trade and the vast scale of the energy sector. Planning routes for these vessels involves careful consideration of maritime traffic, geopolitical tensions, and weather conditions, all of which can impact the timely delivery and pricing of crude oil.

For more detailed information on Very Large Crude Carriers, please refer to the following websites:

1. **Marine Insight**: An informational resource for the maritime and shipping industry, offering an overview of different types of crude oil tankers, including VLCCs.
– URL:

2. **Ship Technology**: This website covers the latest innovations and trends in ship technology, providing insights into the specifications and the role of VLCCs in the global oil industry.
– URL:

This A.I.-generated glossary is intended to provide a convenient means to understand terminology used on this website in the context of physical commodities trading. Some terms may have alternative and/or expanded definitions that may not be relevant here and thus not included. Sources provided are for reference and not intended to be an endorsement of the broader content on that website. Suggestions, questions, or corrections can be provided in the comment box on definition pages.