Maersk Line introduces Emergency Bunker Surcharge

Shipper unable to recover bunker costs through standard bunker adjustment factors due to price jump.

Image credit: Kees Torn Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Updated on 25 May 2018 13:55 GMT

Maersk Line has confirmed that it will be introducing an Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS) next month following the recent jump in the price of marine fuel.

In a statement, Maersk Line said: "The increase in bunker price in 2018 has been significantly higher than what had been expected and has now reached a level of 440 USD/ton in Europe, the highest since 2014.

"The increase is more than 20% compared to the beginning of the year and this unexpected development means it is no longer possible for us to recover bunker costs through the standard bunker adjustment factors."

Maersk Line's EBS tariff is based on an IFO 380 price of $440 in Rotterdam. According to Bunker Index price data for May 25, IFO 380 in Rotterdam was being sold at $430-434 per tonne - down from the previous day's $438-$440.

The boxship operator's EBS tariff is subject to change based on the following trigger events:

- Should IFO 380 in Rotterdam increase to $530, EBS tariffs will be multiplied by a factor of 2.0.

- Should IFO 380 in Rotterdam decrease to $370, EBS tariffs will be zero.

The EBS will be applicable to all cargo on all trades - except for export shipments from mainland China. The EBS will apply in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The surcharge is due to become effective from June 1, 2018, for non-regulated corridors and July 1, 2018, for regulated corridors.

As Bunker Index previously reported, Maersk's Ocean segment consumed 3.1 million tonnes of marine fuel in the first quarter of 2018 (representing a year-on-year rise of 28.0 percent), spending just under $1.2 billion.

The average price spent on bunkers by Ocean in Q1 was $382 per tonne - a rise of $62, or 19.3 percent, on the previous year, and a quarter-on-quarter increase of $42, or 12.4 percent.

Maersk Ocean includes the ocean activities of Maersk's Liner Business (Maersk Line, MCC, Seago Line and Sealand) together with Hamburg Sud brands Hamburg Sud and Alianca as well as strategic transshipment hubs under the APM Terminals brand.