Maersk Tankers’ Intermediate pool has a strong footprint in Northwest Europe, with 85% of the fleet trading in this region, and typically carrying clean products such as gasoline and jet fuel, and dirty products such as fuel oil. As part of the presence in the region, the pool has a long-term cargo book in the form of Contracts of Affreightment (COAs) in the niche markets of West Coast UK. This results in a steady and predictable cargo flow, which the company utilises to optimise triangulation, minimising ballast and idle times for the vessels. This, in turn, translates into better returns for the pool partners.
Northwest Europe is a region where customers have high demands on the vessels, this in terms of vetting requirements and experience of the crews onboard, but also on technical specifications and vessel design, as many ports have draft restrictions. Adding to this, “trading in Northwest Europe means trading with customers that have high standards on what is delivered to them, including the right cargo history of the vessels and sufficient tank cleaning when shifting between cargo types,” according to Lars Sprogoe Bentzen, Head of Intermediate Chartering.
Trading in the Great Lakes of North America
Further to its strong position in Northwest Europe, Maersk Tankers’ Intermediate pool operates in the Great Lakes of North America, as one of few product tanker companies in the world. The region has specific restrictions, not only on the legal side, but also as far as technical requirements for vessels are concerned.
Most tanker vessels operating in the Great Lakes are specifically designed to sail there to fit the size of the seaway locks and to sail through the ice that is still prevalent in the spring, so that only a handful of vessels operate in both the Great Lakes and other regions. Through collaboration with local brokers and agents, Maersk Tankers has “built up the knowledge of local legislations and the specifications of the seaway system that is required for trading in the region,” according to Bentzen.
Maersk Tankers currently has nine Intermediate vessels that are tailormade to be able to go in and out of the lakes, which gives the pool a solid position in this market, contributing to optimised earnings for the Intermediate pool and its partners.
The Intermediate pool also operates in the Mediterranean and the US Gulf, where, for instance, ice class vessels are deployed during the summertime.
Maersk Tankers operates 32 vessels in the Intermediate pool, which operates under the brand Broström.