Ships slow down as higher fuel bills loom

Ships are slowing down as the global sulphur cap approaches.

“With the premium for VLSFO over HFO currently projected at c.$240/t across 2020, the industry fuel bill is set to rise, and speed again could be critical to the potential mitigation of increased fuel bills,” Clarkson Research Services noted in its most recent weekly report. Average speeds in some sectors are already down in the year to date, containerships by a 2% and bulkers by 1%.

Conversely, recent record crude tanker spot market levels have seen an increase in average speed by around 1% in the first half of October.

Average vessel operating speeds have dropped significantly since 2008. The average speed across the world fleet declined by 16% between 2008 and 2018, according to Clarkson data.

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.
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