Rising Costs Of Bunkers

Marine Fuel Costs

Marine Fuel

If you are a land-man (a self made phrase corresponding to a sea-man – or woman for that matter) you are surely concerned about rising fuel prices by the day. Yet you might find solace in the fact that the shipping industry has much more to bear.

As we saw in one of our articles on containerization, that ships are an important part of the transport sector globally. Even though that article was focused specifically on the container segment, tankers and other types of ships play an equally important role in the industry.

But as with the rest of us, even the shipping industry is bothered by hiking fuel prices, and the rising bunker costs are surely driving many a company bonkers.

The recent report released by McQuilling Partners Inc, a company catering for global seaborne transportation, is surely worrying many ship managers, owners and operators.

The cost of marine fuel has nearly risen 400% in the past decade and trends indicate that in the coming decade, they will continue to grow, even if not at same rate.

Of course the shipping companies are taking some steps at their end to reduce fuel consumption, since the fuel price is not directly under their control. Measures such as maintaining an optimum speed of the vessel, instead of the maximum possible speed does help to reduce costs of fuel. As an approximate idea, each 10% reduction of the speed of a VLCC or Very Large Crude Carrier helps to reduce fuel costs by as much as 30% which is certainly a huge saving, if you consider that the typical consumption per day of such a vessel could be anywhere between 70-100 tons per day depending on several factors.

To put things in perspective, an estimate by FIS Ltd put the annual consumption of fuel by the entire merchant vessels fleet of the world at a staggering 370 million tons.

An important factor in such rise of prices is also linked to a certain extent with the diminishing supplies from producers such as Iran and Russia, thereby making is necessary for researchers to work out alternative strategies for it.

Having said that, it must also be kept in mind that this is just a chunk of the fuel and energy problems faced globally and certainly over time, new innovations and techniques would find some solution to the problems. The voyage must go on……

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