Panamax and Aframax Tankers: Comparison and differences for Oil Transportation

Panamax and Aframax Tankers: When it comes to oil tankers traveling across the ocean, there are several varieties. The panamax and Aframax tankers are two of the most well-known types of oil tankers that are still in use today. The names of these two oil tankers are associated with their primary service region, which is the ocean and sea waters, and their geographic focus.

Aframax and Panamax Tankers

For further information regarding Panamax and Aframax tankers, the following clarification would be helpful:

Panamax Tankers

Panamax Tankers
(Credit: Splash 247)

These vessels are used in the Panama region, particularly around the Panama Canal. The tanker size is planned under the Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) size guidelines. When it comes to panamax tankers, size is crucial since, if it is not kept an eye on during construction, it could cause a lot of issues while the ship is in motion. The first panamax tanker was put into service in 1914, and nine decades later, it remains popular and functional.

Container Ships: Revolutionizing Global Trade and Distribution

The restrictions and guidelines regarding the size of Panamax tankers are closely adhered to, given that the entrance and exit points of the Panama Canal are not as large. The Panamax tankers have dimensions of around 950 feet in length, 106 feet in breadth, and 39.5 feet in depth.

The size of the lock chambers of the Panama Canal, however, is the most significant aspect of the panamax tankers that calls for extreme caution. When it comes to tankers entering and leaving the Panama Canal, this section of the canal is crucial from a strategic standpoint. The Panama Canal’s lock chambers measure approximately 1050 feet in length, 110 feet in width, and 85 feet in depth.

The Project New Panamax

New Panamax
(Credit: Shipsforsale)

The New Panamax was created as a result of the restrictions placed on traffic mobility by the previously mentioned measurement. The restricted lock chambers of the Panama Canal are to be expanded, according to the 2006-launched New Panamax project. The New Panamax is designed to have dimensions of around 1400 feet in length, 180 feet in breadth, and 60 feet in draft. The commercial community that primarily serves the Panama Canal region has actively supported this proposed modification to the lock chamber facilities, which may eventually help with the issue of naval traffic.

Neo Panamax vessels

 Neo-Panamax ships are essentially the progression of Panamax ships, designed to overcome size constraints. Specifically, the 2006 launch of the New Panamax project asked for the Panama Canal’s lock chambers to be expanded. The corporate community that uses the Panama Canal backed this lock modification, which is thought to provide a solution to the naval traffic issue.

The dimensions of the Neo-Panamax ships are around 1400 feet long, 180 feet wide, and 60 feet draft.

Operators should be aware that the Panama Canal Authority announced on Friday, May 3, that the Neopanamax locks on Gatun Lake will have their draft reduced for the sixth time in 2019 to a maximum of 43 feet.

Additionally, depending on the actual level of Gatun Lake at the time of passage, vessels arriving after May 2018, 2019, with drafts beyond the aforementioned maximum drafts, may be permitted to traverse. If not, they will have to remove or cut cargo before they can proceed with the voyage.

Aframax Tankers

Aframax Tankers
(Credit: Splash 247)

The Average Freight Rate Assessment (AFRA) mechanism is the source of the name Aframax. Large oil tankers entering heavily used maritime lanes presented size limits, which led to the development of Aframax tankers.

SWATH Ship: A Unique Vessel with Reduced Seakeeping Motions

Generally speaking, the Aframax tankers weigh 1,20,000 DWT (Dead Weight Tonnes) or fewer. Again, this size is a fairly stringent requirement. Typically, Aframax tankers navigate the Black Sea’s European waters. Additionally, these tankers can be found carrying goods on the North Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and one of the busiest and most significant routes in the Mediterranean Sea.

It should be mentioned that the countries that depend on Aframax tankers among the world’s leading oil exporters are those whose oil exports are comparatively lower than those of the Middle Eastern countries. This is because the Middle East exports a significant amount of oil and uses larger naval vessels to transport it. Aframax tankers prove to be a valuable asset as a result of the utilization of such large, heavy vessels, which also tend to obstruct maritime lanes.

The ever-growing issue of traffic on sea routes can be effectively solved by using panamax and Aframax tankers. By developing such simple fixes, it has been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that any issue may be fixed once and for all by properly modifying engineering science and technology.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top