Bunkering Throughout the World and the Role Played by Brokers

Bunkering refers to the process of supplying fuel through ships, and it may include loading and distribution to different bunker tanks. The operations of this process are located in seaports that have fuel vessels and tanks. Based on research, bomb shelters and steel bunkers are constructed through quality metals that exist in the market. Hence, narrow down to the following details to be enlightened everything about bunkering and the brokers involved.

freight ship

Types of Bunkering and Bunker Fuels

Conventionally, the supplying of fuel is conducted in ports through heavy traffic and modern techniques. The most popular way of providing the fuel is ship to ship bunkering (STS). Another kind of bunkering refers to the stern line. This is the simplest type, but it’s dangerous to transfer fuel when the weather is terrible. Ships carry different kinds of bunker fuel, such as the following:

  • Distillate fuel
  • Marine Gas Oil (MDO)
  • Residual fuel
  • Marine Gas Oil (MGO)

Actions to Consider Before Supplying Fuel

An important thing to establish before taking part in the supplying of fuel is to note the person in charge (P.I.C) for delivering and receiving vessels. Such a person has to take full charge of transferring fuel. Before the process is carried out, pre-bunkering meetings are conducted to discuss plans and identify risks. Moreover, the person in charge has to coordinate the team who is responsible for offering safe passage.


Preparing a Bunkering Plan

A bunkering plan needs to include emergency procedures, checkpoints before supplying fuel, and evaluation of cargo after delivery. Staff members who work on ships have to report or stop any issues during the bunkering process. Also, the vessels carrying the bunkers have to be prepared before the date of transfer. This includes evaluating tanks and pipes before they are filled with fuel.

Critical Issues to Note During the Process

At the start of this process, pumping rates have to be at a minimum. The associated tanks and valves are verified to ensure everything is under control. Moreover, the hose pipes need to be reinforced to prevent the unnecessary strain on rails and manifold. Importantly, detailed instructions and procedures from the Ship Management System (SMS) have to be followed to ensure vessels are adequately maintained.

Practical Guidelines for Storing and Supplying Fuel

Bunker fuel is an important aspect, which influences the shipping business and the effectiveness of ships. The cost of fuel needs maritime experts to supply cargo and store bunkers carefully. For this reason, some measures have been stipulated to ensure the supplying and storing of fuel is done effectively. For instance, the crew on ships have to understand the bunkering procedures to ensure they prevent the spilling of oil. Port authorities and organizations have to provide valuable guidance and training to ascertain safe procedures are observed.

Moreover, the quality of bunkers has to be considered. But when it comes to bunker suppliers in Singapore, the issue of quality has never been a problem. Hence, other suppliers can observe the same thing to maintain the loyalty of their fuel customers.

Bunkering in Maritime Law

In most maritime requirements, such as marine insurance, the ship operator has to ensure that ship to ship bunkering is seaworthy. This means that ships have to be fuelled and sailed correctly. However, if ship operators want to use en route bunkers, an agreement has to be written and provided on time. In case the ship is depleted with fuel after going in another direction, this would be a severe and unforgivable breach of contract. In such a situation, an insurer will have to cancel the insurance policy and allow consignees to claim for their cargo. This may also attract a salvage condition.


Brokers in the Bunkering Business

Shipowners are progressively buying supplies directly from manufacturers so that they can cut down the extra costs. After a bunkering conference happened this year, Adrian Tolson indicated that the disintermediation process had caused a decrease in the fuel that brokers sell in the market. The reason for this drastic change was due to the end of the OW Bunker that occurred in 2014. Although it disrupted the supply chain in the market, ship owners were encouraged to purchase fuel supplies from producers.

An investigation is conducted to learn how trading companies handle the shipping process. Most owners are suffering from freight rates, which have always been weak since the beginning of 2008. However, trading companies still have an essential role to play in the industry. Most of them provide fuel supply and credit options to ensure suppliers experience an easy time. Therefore, brokers are experiencing a hard time in the bunkering industry because technology allows sellers and buyers to connect easily.

The Role of Bunkers Brokers in This Internet Era

The supply of fuel was dominated by prominent companies, until 1980, when things started to change. After this year, other people, such as traders, brokers, and independent suppliers, ventured into the business. Before, brokers had a black book that contained a list of suppliers and their contacts. During this time, shipping organizations had a hard time to venture into the business, since brokers were the only ones who could explore the market. Hence, the primary responsibility of a worldwide bunker supplier was to navigate different markets. However, things turned around once the internet dominated the world. It’s now a blow to brokers because a lot of details are on the internet, and shipping firms have found it easy to contact owners directly without involving intermediaries.

Today, the only problem that brokers face is the difficulty of sorting signals. So, in this internet era, brokers are tasked to make use of all the details they have to assist shipping firms to get a perfect deal.

The Bottom Line

From the information provided in this article, you can see that supplying fuel is mainly conducted by billionaires. Owning a single bunker requires a lot of money. However, if you have helpful information that shipping organizations need, you can also be one of the brokers. Hence, anyone who wants to be part of this business needs to learn everything, including the types of bunkers.

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