Container line Maersk announces new bunker charges for IMO sulfur cap
Container shipping company Maersk Line has announced a new system of bunker charges for its customers to reflect higher fuel costs as the International Maritime Organization’s global sulfur emission limit drops to 0.5%.
The company will impose its new bunker adjustment factor (BAF) from the start of next year, replacing its current standard bunker adjustment factor (SBF) system, it said Monday.
The IMO’s global sulfur limit is due to drop from 3.5% to 0.5% from the start of 2020, forcing most shipowners either to switch from burning fuel oil to cleaner, more expensive alternatives, or to install scrubber equipment on their vessels to clean emissions on board.
Maersk’s new BAF will be calculated using the average fuel price at a few key bunkering ports around the world and a measure of average fuel consumption for each route. In its announcement Monday the company announced hypothetical BAF rates as an example of how much dry container freight could cost on various different routes at a range of different bunker prices.
At a bunker price of $400/mt on the north Europe to Far East route, the new BAF could be $280/FEU, while at a fuel cost of $700/mt it could rise to $490/FEU, the company said.
The company will initially be using high sulfur 380 CST fuel oil prices to calculate the BAF rate in 2019, before the sulfur cap is lowered to 0.5% at the start of 2020, a spokesman told S&P Global Platts Monday.