This sub-market of inland navigation serves an important transport function within the European economy as the means of transport for liquid fuels and for supplies to products from the chemical industry.

Because of the dangerousness of the goods transported by tankers, this type of vessels have to comply with important technical requirements and constitutes then a special category of vessels, to be differentiated with cargo vessels.

The split of the tankers capacity between the different European countries is similar to the one of cargo vessels, with a predominance of the Netherlands, followed by Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland. Motor tankers are essentially split in Western Europe countries.

Number of Liquid cargo vessels in Rhine and Danube countries (2014)

Source: CCNR based on national authorities 

With the requirement for the conversion of the fleet of single-hulls into double-hull ships, the tanker shipping industry is facing a tremendous challenge. For several years new building has been focused to double-hulled motor tankers and the fleet is currently being converted from single-hull to double-hull ships. The conversion is being carried out in accordance with the transitional provisions of the ADN 11, which permit the industry to continue transporting certain substances in single-hull ships during the transition period (which lasts until 2018). The transition deadlines vary according to the substance being transported.

It is important to note that this sector is nearing overcapacity, resulting from the coexistence of a new fleet of double-hull tankers alongside the fleet of single-hull vessels still in service, even though the latter are in fact becoming fewer. It should be also noted that the economic crisis had a less adverse effect overall on tanker shipping than it did on the dry goods shipping sector.


New tankers vessels put on the market since 2008 per type of vessels (in units)

Source: EBIS 

For more information on tankers market in European inland navigation : study to download:

CCNR Study – Tanker shipping market and market development – 2011

Tanker shipping market and market development_ 2011