Market information

The Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) market is a niche and industrial shipping sector requiring a high degree of specialization.

Industrial shipping

A significant majority of the global PCTC fleet is operated by very large shipping / logistics companies and dedicated operators who contract directly with carmakers and other cargo providers. The scale of operations, relationships and expertise required therefore limits the number of players in this market to only the largest shipping companies and “pureplay” PCTC operators.

Long-term stability

The industrial nature of the sector and strong fundamentals of the vehicle market make the PCTC sector competitive yet highly stable. It is based on multi-year back to back contracts between tonnage providers, operators and vehicle manufacturers, and there is no “spot” market as exists in other shipping sectors. The sector demonstrated good capacity discipline during the financial crisis, scrapping over 160 vessels, and showed restraint in ordering ships as compared to other shipping sectors.

Highly specialized

PCTCs require specialized construction. For example, the internal decks are made from thinner steel plates that require skilled welding techniques and the design of these areas must ensure maximum cargo space, flexibility and efficiency. Only a limited number of shipyards and shipping companies worldwide are equipped to build this tonnage.

Technical management is also specialized. Crews must be proficient in the additional systems on board a car carrier (ramp operation, deck lifters and ventilation) and competent in handling vehicle cargoes.

Major trades

Seaborne vehicle trades are worldwide and evolving as they track the globalization of the vehicle market. This is positive for the PCTC market, boosting ton-mile demand while providing more resilience to car makers and more choice for consumers. In addition to passenger vehicles, PCTCs also carry ‘high and heavy’ cargoes such as construction and agricultural equipment, trucks and machinery which have their own unique trading patterns.