• 2018 September 25 16:57

    Shippers suspect sulphur stitch-up

    The Global Shippers Forum has reacted with suspicion to the announcement by the Maersk container shipping line of new fuel surcharge arrangements from 1 January 2019 to recover presumed costs from the introduction of low-sulphur marine fuel from 1 January 2020.

    Based on the information released by Maersk, the new charges, which are additional to agreed contract rates, are based on two factors - an average cost of fuel and a ‘trade factor’ that upscales the costs on head trades and discounts the fuel cost on reverse trades. But because the charge is per box, the greater number of revenue-earning boxes sailing west will collectively pay far more than they need to in order to compensate for the same boxes returning east when empty.

    This has the effect of applying higher than average surcharges on their most profitable routes. For example, the Far East to North Europe route has a trade factor of 1.3, but North Europe to Far East of 0.7. In addition, Maersk has decided to help itself to a whole year of higher fuel surcharges, a full 12 months before the rules requiring them to use surcharges actually come in. And the new charging structure would apply to all variations of fuel price, not just due of the introduction of low sulphur fuel.

    James Hookham, GSF Secretary General, said: “Asking customers to contribute to new environmental costs is to be expected, but this charge lacks transparency; no data is available to let customers work out how the charge has been calculated. Given historical experiences with surcharges, shippers are naturally suspicious over something shipping lines say is ‘fair, transparent and clear’. GSF will be taking this piece of financial engineering apart piece by piece as we suspect this has more to do with rate restoration than environmental conservation.

    “Maersk has other options. Global rules allow lines to meet air quality standards by fitting ‘scrubbers’ to clean up exhaust emissions, rather than buying more expensive low-sulphur fuel. This requires a one-off capital expense, but for shippers this is a better option than paying sulphur surcharges indefinitely. Some of Maersk’s biggest competitors are taking this different approach, and customers will be looking at the options and voting with their wallets.

    “What also disappoints shippers is the lack of negotiation about the timing and the structure of the charge. It would have been better if Maersk had discussed its plans with individual customers in the course of confidential contract reviews, rather than just publishing something that wouldn’t be out of place in the puzzles section of your daily newspaper.

    “We suspect that other shipping lines will be tempted to follow suit, but it would surely be of concern to competition authorities around the world if the same formula were to be used by other shipping lines, especially in the same Alliance.

    “GSF would encourage Maersk to consult with customers and reconsider their strategy. These new charges may be all about low-sulphur fuel, but they still stink to us!”




2019 June 19

09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,135 points

2019 June 18

18:36 Spotlighting IMO's actions on climate change
18:31 Transborders Energy signs joint study agreement with Kyushu Electric Power for FLNG Solution
18:06 Kim Heng Offshore & Marine Holdings signs MoU with HHC and Thaitan
18:03 Container service boost at Bristol Port
17:53 IMO and UN Environment – working together to keep the Mediterranean clean
17:36 ZIM introduces myZIM Personal Notifications
17:21 Incat launches a new 111-metre ferry for Spain
17:06 Hapag-Lloyd announces General Rate increase from Japan to Middle East
16:42 Nor-Shipping 2019 sets new records
16:20 Fincantieri and CNR present the results of six multidisciplinary research projects
16:04 Atlantic Towing buys Havyard 833 WE – build no 126
15:25 Live stream of IWW passenger transportation meeting, part of SmartTRANSPORT, starts on IAA PortNews website at 10:00, June 21
15:04 Port of Oakland approves Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan
14:33 Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ship hull assembly begins at Meyer Turku shipyard
14:02 Hapag-Lloyd announces FAK from East Asia to Europe and Mediterranean
13:30 Port of Singapore bags “Best Seaport in Asia” for 31st time and also “Best Green Seaport”
13:02 Major shipping banks to launch the Poseidon Principles in line with IMO’s Greenhouse Gas strategy
12:41 Russia's Main Department of State Expertise approves revised project for Phase 1 of dry bulk terminal in Taman
12:28 Bunker prices show slight changes at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:24 Jan De Nul secures Formosa 2 OWF contract in Taiwan and underlines its expansion in Asian OWFs
12:05 AtoB@C starts to offer port towage and related services in Port of Raahe
11:39 East-Siberian Inland Navigation Company launches bunkering tanker of Project RT37 for Baikal
11:16 Regional Manager Simon Neo set to leave IBIA
10:52 IBIA board member elected President of the Panama Maritime Chamber
10:47 NAVTOR integrates environmental regulations into voyage planning with Total Marine Solutions MOU
10:27 Maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea region easier with BASEMAPS
09:53 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.05% to $60.91, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.1% to $51.88
09:35 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning June, 18
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,093 points

2019 June 17

18:24 USCG saves six people, tows disabled vessel in Port Etches
17:59 Denis Krylov appointed General Director of Gazpromneft-Sakhalin
17:28 China and South Korea agree on ballast water exchange rules
17:04 Mermaid Maritime borrows a loan of USD 65 mln to extend the financing of two vessels
16:41 Neptune Lines welcomes Neptune Galene & Neptune Thalassa after scrubber installation
16:23 DG Termināls invests about 1 million euros during the year
16:17 Finnish ferry getting a diesel-electrical drivetrain system
16:04 MSC Katya R. sets record as largest container ship to boost Costa Rican export links to Europe
15:45 Singapore to host 18th Vessel Efficiency & Fuel Management Summit
15:26 Onezhsky Shipyard launches multifunctional buoy tender for Volga-Baltic Basin
15:04 Hunter Group sells one vessel
14:42 Gdansk, Poland to host 6th Operating Specialist Wind Vessels Summit
14:19 Seatrade Europe conference programme to include Marine Interiors specialist panel discussions
14:12 ClassNK releases amendments to class rules
13:55 Finland hosts an EU–China maritime meeting
13:31 AWT completed stage III of modernization and expansion of the Paskov Terminal
13:24 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 16,007 in RF spot market
13:10 The Irish Port of Cork and Port of Amsterdam to collaborate
12:48 Pella Shipyard launches tugboat of project 90600, Sadko, built for Sevmash-Shelf (video)
12:31 Port of Oakland exports up 8.4 percent in May 2019
12:01 North Carolina Ports adopts Vortex port equipment simulator
11:30 MEYER WERFT announces the keel laying for the new cruise ship IONA
11:15 Throughput of port Shanghai (China) in Jan-May’19 declined by 1.3% to 225.91 million tonnes
11:00 Panama Canal issues proposal to modify tolls structure
10:59 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in Jan-May’2019 fell by 7.7% Y-o-Y to 19.79 million tonnes
10:37 Fincantieri's Muggiano shipyard launches PPA “Paolo Thaon di Revel”
10:21 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
10:01 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.26% to $62.17, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.19% to $52.87
09:38 Port of Singapore throughput in Jan-May’2019 was nearly flat YoY at 261.39 million tonnes
09:19 Diana Shipping commences self tender offer to purchase up to 2,000,000 shares