Could the old workhorses of the clean tanker trades be on the cusp of extinction? That’s the view held by analysts at Alphatanker, part of AXS Marine, who note how the MR1 and LR1 tankers are falling out of favour.
More ports are now capable of accepting an MR2 which is helping to “squeeze” the MR1 segment, Alphatanker noted in its most recent weekly report.
Meanwhile, the LR1 segment is also coming under pressure from LR2s as their larger size makes them more economical for long haul trade.
The height of the ordering activity for MR1s and LR1s was during the mid-2000s. The average age of the MR1 and LR1 fleet today is 12 and 10 years old, respectively with owners increasingly preferring to order MR2s or LR2s.