Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market | Industry Report, 2030

Decline in COVID-19 Restrictions to Revive Market Growth

Bulk operators are coping with low freight rates and caving demand amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. China being one of the world’s biggest commodities importers had cut down on inbound cargoes of iron ore and coal in the first quarter. Thus, shipping companies in the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market are keeping commerce moving to revive market growth. They are expecting a recovery in freight rates by the end of the last quarter of 2022. However, operators are entering into the survival mode, since big exporters such as Brazil and Australia are experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The shutdown of automotive factories has added to the problems of vehicle carriers in the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market. Several workers have been furloughed and ships have been pulled from the fleet due to demand crisis.

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Green Logistics Trend Helps to Focus on Zero-pollution Mobility Services

Zero-emission technologies such as ultra-clean biofuel drivetrains and gas-electric vessels are contributing toward the growth of the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market. The Green Inland Shipping Event held in October 2019 shared insights into battery-electric vehicles that are smart and sustainable for the environment. Manufacturers in the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market are increasing their R&D muscle to develop containers that cater to zero emissions. Most operators are focusing on reaching zero-pollution mobility by the end of 2050 in order to reduce carbon footprint.

Inland ports are the flag-bearers of green logistics. Vessel manufacturers are taking giant strides to launch alternative fuel infrastructures, such as hydrogen and gas-electric vessels. Electric ships are emerging as an option for delivery of parcels.

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Shallow Water Testing Facilities Boost Business Activities in Indian Coastal Transportation

The global liquid & bulk transportation vessels market is projected to cross the value mark of US$ 1 Trn by the end of 2030. This is evident since companies are tapping into incremental opportunities in the Indian inland waterway and coastal transport development. However, the nation lacks the availability of shallow water testing facilities. This pain point has attracted investor sentiment, where the Shipping Ministry has sanctioned a major research and test facility, the Centre of Inland and Coastal Maritime Technology, at IIT Kharagpur.

Companies in the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market can opt to invest in shallow water testing facilities in India to unlock growth opportunities.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

Crude carriers are less affected with the COVID-19 outbreak as buyers are scurrying to replenish strategic reserves and store crude oil at record low prices. Apart from India, companies in the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market are exploring value-grab opportunities in Bangladesh. However, the maritime sphere of the country is being neglected by operators. This explains why the global market is predicted to register a sluggish CAGR of ~3% during the assessment period.


In order to revive market growth, operators should invest in building the shipping infrastructure of Bangladesh to capitalize on high-value economic sectors shortlisted by the Blue Economy Cell under the Energy and Mineral Resource Division.  

Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market: Overview

  • Liquid & bulk transportation vessels are specially designed to transport unpacked bulk cargoes such as crude oil, chemicals, industrial products, and raw materials
  • Around 90% of global trade is seaborne; hence, liquid & bulk transportation vessels play an important role in the global economy
  • The global oil & gas exploration activities and seaborne trade are expanding. This is driving the demand for liquid & bulk transportation vessels across the globe.

Significant Rise in Sea Trade to Drive Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market

  • Significant increase in industrialization and globalization has led to a high demand for sea trade. This form of trade is highly effective and entails low transportation costs. Governments of various countries are promoting exports by developing world-class infrastructure in port areas.
  • More than 53,000 merchant ships are engaged in international trade. They transport various types of cargo. The number of bulk carriers stood at around 11,000 in 2019. The number of crude oil tankers totaled about 7,400 units, while the number of container ships in the world stood at about 5,000 units in 2019. These numbers are expected to rise in the near future, due to increase in sea trade. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the seaborne trade is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.4% from 2019 to 2024.
  • In terms of volume, global seaborne trade stood at more than 20,000 million tons in 2019. Asia Pacific is the leading region in terms of sea trade. More than 11 billion tons of goods were transported in the region in 2019. More than 90% of goods that trade among the countries in Europe and the rest of the world are transported by sea. This trend is estimated to continue in the next few years.
  • Thus, significant rise in sea trade is projected to boost the demand for marine vessels. This, in turn, is likely to drive the global liquid & bulk transportation vessels market in the near future.

Introduction of Regulations on Sulfur Emissions to Hamper Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market

  • Liquid & bulk transportation vessels run on bunker fuel, which causes high levels of pollution. Greenhouse gases are a major concern across the globe. Every year, air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, and particulate matter are released in large amounts into the environment.
  • Governments of various countries across the world are implementing rules and regulations to lower pollution. In 2017, the U.S. Government and the Government of Canada passed bills to formulate fuel-sulfur limits and NOx emissions in emission control areas in North America. These areas include coastal waters of up to 200 nautical miles from coasts of Alaska and Hawaii. Vessels entering these areas must meet the requirement that fuel-sulfur concentrations should not exceed 0.10 weight%. Engines above 130 kW installed on vessels built since 2000 must be certified to meet appropriate emission standards corresponding to the building date of vessels. Engines installed on new and modified vessels are subject to the Annex VI Tier III NOx standards.
  • From January 1, 2022, member countries of the European Union have been ensuring that ships in all European Union waters use fuels with sulfur content of less than 0.5%. Furthermore, all ships passing through these NOx emission control areas must adopt defined mandatory engine standards or equivalent NOx emission reduction technologies to comply with stringent NOx emission levels.
  • Introduction of the IMO 2022 regulation on sulfur fuel limits has resulted in additional costs for the shipping industry, as the industry needs to incorporate new standards in design and construction of ships in order to lower the emission levels. This is anticipated to hamper the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market in the near future.

Innovation in Propulsion System to Offer Lucrative Opportunities for Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market

  • Increase in awareness about air pollution and its effects on the environment as well as human beings has compelled companies to seek more environment-friendly and cost-effective solutions for the shipping industry. Currently, companies are investing significantly in alternate solutions such as LNG, hydrogen, biofuel, and electric propulsion.
  • In December 2019, Japan-based Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. introduced the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier. The ship uses hydrogen, which can be produced using water and electricity and subsequently stored and shipped and re-used to generate power. However, hydrogen is volatile and flammable. Furthermore, current production techniques are expensive.
  • Companies are currently focusing on improving battery capacities and reducing the battery size of full electric vessels. This can be beneficial for liquid & bulk transportation vessels, as the dead weight of batteries would reduce. Companies are also emphasizing on increasing the number of charging cycles of batteries. This would be beneficial for the marine industry, as the cost of batteries is high and frequent replacement increases operational costs.
  • Companies also aim to carry out advancements in charging stations in order to provide rapid charging. This is estimated help liquid & bulk transportation vessels lower the downtime required to charge batteries. In turn, this is projected to boost the liquid & bulk transportation vessels market.
  • Thus, innovation in propulsion systems is likely to offer lucrative opportunities to the global liquid & bulk transportation vessels market during the forecast period

Recent Developments, Expansions, Acquisitions, and New Contracts in Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market

  • In March 2022, Team Tankers International Ltd. announced it had established a joint venture with the V.Group for technical management services. Team Tankers International Ltd. will transfer its in-house managed fleet consisting of 10 MRs and two 25k coated vessels to the joint venture, along with its on-shore technical organization and seafaring expertise. It would own 30%, while V.Group would own 70% of the JV, Dania Ship Management AS.
  •  In June 2022, Stena Bulk introduced IMOFlexMAX, a prototype of the next-generation product and chemical tanker. The tanker is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25% compared to modern product tankers. The tanker offers flexibility and optimizes efficiency. Introduction of new chemical tankers is anticipated to expand the company’s product portfolio.

Asia Pacific to be Highly Lucrative Region of Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market

  • Asia Pacific is anticipated to be a highly lucrative region of the global liquid & bulk transportation vessels market during the forecast period. The liquid & bulk transportation vessels market in the region is estimated to expand at a significant pace between 2022 and 2030, due to significant investments in the shipping industry. Rise in urbanization and globalization in the region is projected to fuel the demand for liquid & bulk transportation vessels in the near future.
  • Seaborne trade has increased in countries such as China, Japan, and India over the past few years. This is expected to boost the demand for liquid & bulk transportation vessels in these countries.

Fragmented Liquid & Bulk Transportation Vessels Market

  • The global liquid & bulk transportation vessels market is fragmented. Various international and regional players operate in the global liquid & bulk transportation vessels market.
  • Key players operating in the global liquid & bulk transportation vessels market are
    • Stolt-Nielsen
    • MISC Berhad
    • MOL Chemical Tankers Europe A/S
    • UPT United Product Tankers GmbH & Co. KG
    • Stena Bulk
    • Team Tankers International Ltd.
    • Nordic Tankers
    • DAL/JTE