An industrial ocean carrier transports large quantities of raw material by sea, for his own need.
The first industrial ocean carriers were the oil companies who desired control over crude oil supplies in order to ensure the distribution of their refined products. The ships generally belong to them or are chartered for a long period in time charter or bare boat charter.
Other Industrial ocean carriers are government enterprises who need to import large quantities of ore, bauxite and the like for their industries, and private enterprises who import massive amounts of raw material from overseas for their factories and other processes.
As mentioned before, the ships of industrial ocean carriers are operated as individual affiliated companies.
The large industries and especially the large oil and steel companies prefer to sail their own ships to acquire greater independence as compared with the typical tramping. If they are in need of extra tonnage, they make an appeal to the tramping market.
The organization of the industrial ocean carriers, to which mainly the tanker companies belong, is quasi organization almost similar to the tramping companies since they are also involved in carrying bulk cargoes. The industrial ocean carriers will therefore also focus on chartering.
If owned by an oil company, the fleet will be operated by the maritime department or by a subsidiary company of the enterprise.
In some cases, the oil company does not own any ships, in which case the oil is carried by independent companies. Consequently, the activities of the maritime department are limited to commercial activities, because the technical operation is performed by the owner of the ships who chartered them to the oil company.
As with their counterparts of the tramping, the chartering department of the independent owners must concentrate on the freight markets and freight prices, especially if they operate on the spot market. Incidentally, in case of an insufficient cargo offer, the oil company's ships must also be registered on the freight market. This happens mainly in times of economic recession, with the consequence of an inevitable drop in the freight prices. In case of a continuous depression, the owner may be forced to withdraw his ships from the trade and keep them idle for an indefinite period or even to scrap them.
The considerations made with respect to the tanker fleet also apply to the industrial ocean carriers (which include the steel companies and other bulk carriers).