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Report: Off-spec bunkers leave ship operators with estimated USD $27k – 50k bill per event

10 Oct 2022

Maritime consultancy Thetius recently published a report ‘The vital role of ship fuel oil assessment and quantity verification in an uncertain era’ examining contemporary issues in the bunker fuel supply chain.

The report concluded the bunkering sector has become a higher-functioning industry due to the creation of standards, development of new technologies, supplier consolidation, and changed attitudes.

However, significant gaps remain where opportunities for poor bunker fuel quality and off quantity deliveries can gain and maintain a foothold, wrote authors Nic Gardner and Matt Kenney.

“Macroeconomic and geopolitical influences such as Russian military aggression in Ukraine, the commercial pressures felt by a shipping industry that is obliged to adapt to a disorientating period of change and development, the ever-present spectre of fraud and corruption, lack of supply chain transparency, the unequal enforcement of emerging fuel standards, and of course – climate change, conspire to make the market prone to serious issues,” they stated.

“When evidence shows that in excess of one million metric tons of off-spec or non-compliant fuels are detected each year, the cost to industry is considerable, with the bill to the unwary ship operator estimated at $27 – 50,000 USD per event. By comparison, the cost of testing and verification services is attractive, but the benefits are not just financial.”

“Strong evidence suggests that operators need reliable support in bunkering disputes and independent testing and verification is the only way of being truly supported.”

Note: The full report ‘The vital role of ship fuel oil assessment and quantity verification in an uncertain era’ is available for download here.


Photo credit: Thetius
Published: 10 October, 2022

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