The opaque world of buying bunker fuel is set to enter the 21st century with the official launch today of BunkerEx, a London-based technology driven bunker broker which aims to lower the cost of hidden fees for shipping companies.
Bunker buyers today are often left in the dark on the agreements between their broker/trader and the supplier. This lack of transparency can lead to owners and charterers unknowingly paying margins and hidden fees of an average $5 per metric tonne.
“We are looking to change this at a crucial time for the shipping industry” commented BunkerEx co-founder and CEO, Ishaan Hemnani, who has a decade of industry experience. “Currently, owners and charterers can’t be certain that their broker has covered the whole market, negotiated the price down as much as possible, and been completely objective and unbiased in choosing the supplier. Additionally, there is absolutely no transparency on a broker’s final fee, as many will actually try and sell higher to earn bigger commissions. It’s the bunker buyer that ultimately pays the cost for all this.”
BunkerEx has built a trading platform that allows buyers to generate an enquiry, cover the whole market and negotiate aggressively in just a few clicks.
“We don’t just claim to be more transparent, we actually show our clients everything that goes on. The beauty is that our technology allows buyers to place a stem quickly and with less hassle, saving an average of 40 minutes per enquiry. At the same time, our brokers continue to offer a world-class and personalised service. It gives shipowners and charterers all the benefits of having a bunker broker, without having to pay the price,” Hemnani claimed.
BunkerEx takes $1 per metric tonne while the platform is free for buyers.
Additionally, clients of BunkerEx receive free, personalised reports on their data including information such as their average discount versus Platts, preferred suppliers and their most common ports.
Suppliers also receive information such as who their best customers are, accurate feedback on lost deals and the amount of credit they’ve extended to each client.
“Most traditional service industries are going completely digital. We don’t believe the bunker industry is fully ready for that, so have built a hybrid between the two: traditional human brokers with a technology platform to make the process fairer, faster and cheaper,” Hemnani said.