Comparison between a Contemporary and a Second World War Tanker
Ships became increasingly larger and specialized in the second
had of the 20th century. This led to the development of general cargo ships, tankers, grain
carriers, barges, mineral carriers, bulk carriers, methane carriers
and container ships. Tankers, which were built to carry the enormous
petroleum traffic of the post-World War II era, are extremely simple
in design. Machinery is concentrated at the stern and virtually all
the remaining space is devoted to compartments for liquid cargo.
The growth in ship size is usually a
stepwise process. In
1959, the 100,000 dwt barrier was breached with the delivery of the
Universe Apollo. By 1975 a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) was more
than 300 meters long, twice the length of a 1942 T2 tanker of 150 meters.
The T2 tanker could carry about 141,200 barrels (5,930,000 gallons)
and had a deadweight tonnage of about 16,000 tons. VLCCs introduced
in the 1970s had a deadweight tonnage between 150,000 and 300,000 tons
and could carry between 800,000 and 2 million barrels. Physical limits
have however been reached in 1980 with the ULCC Seawise Giant, having
a dwt of 564,739 and a draft of 24.6 meters. No larger tanker ship
have since then been built.