Friday, August 1, 2014

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Maersk to add low-sulfur fuel surcharge of up to $150 per-FEU effective Jan. 1

With less than six months to go before stricter ship emission regulations are enforced in emission control areas (ECA) of Europe and the U.S., Maersk Line is preparing customers for a low-sulfur fuel surcharge of up to $150 per- FEU effective January 1, according to the Maersk Line website.

Fuel with a sulfur content of 0.1 percent is significantly more expensive than fuel with 1.0 percent sulfur content required in ECA areas today, reports the website. By 2015, Maersk Line says it expects to purchase 650,000 tons of fuel with 0.1 percent sulfur content annually for their fleet, equal to 7 percent of all fuel purchased. Based on the current price difference of $300 per ton, Maersk says its additional costs will be around $250 million per year. 

To mitigate the additional costs, Maersk Line said it would incorporate the higher average fuel costs into the existing standard bunker surcharge. The website says the additional cost to customers in affected trades will be between $50 and $150 per-FEU to and from main ports, depending on transit time inside ECA areas and whether touching ECA areas at both origin and destination.

Reefer containers will incur higher costs because of the fuel used to generate power on board vessels and Maersk says the cost will fluctuate depending on the volatility of low sulfur fuel prices.

The company said it will communicate more detailed SBF increases per trade when the implementation date draws closer and the price difference between the different fuel types can be more precisely estimated. 

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