Maersk announces its first bunker fee hike in the global sulphur cap era

Maersk, the world’s largest containerline, has announced its first bunker fee hike in the global sulphur cap era.

With very low sulphur fuel oil proving to be more than $250 per ton more expensive than high sulphur fuel oil in the first three weeks of the new IMO 2020 regulation, Maersk has warned clients that effective March 1 it will hike bunker-related tariffs across all trades with an increase range between $50 to $200 per feu. The actual increases per trade will be communicated by end January.

Maersk’s Environmental Fuel Fee (EFF) and its quarterly Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) levels are subject to a monthly review and exceptional trigger if the price of VLSFO moves up or down significantly during the quarter. The trigger to activate the exceptional review on both cases is defined as a change of more than $50 per ton, up or down, on bunker prices compared to the last time both surcharges were adjusted.

The very volatile prices yesterday for VLSFO in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub, stood at $646.50 per ton, down by $10.50 from the previous day.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. $646.50 per ton translates to 274 gallons, or about $2.40 (us) per gallon. That’s less than what we pay in the US to fuel an 18 wheeler. Cash price(for example) here in California, today 1/24/2020, is $3.00 per gallon.????

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