London: Vessel operating costs are expected to rise by 3% in both 2012 and 2013 according to a new survey by international accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens. Lube expenditure and crew costs are the categories most likely to produce the highest levels of increase.
The survey is based on responses from key players in the international shipping industry, predominantly shipowners and managers in Europe and Asia. As was the case twelve months ago, those responses identified lubricants as the cost category likely to increase most significantly – by 2.9 and 2.8% in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Crew wages, meanwhile, are expected to increase by 2.3% in 2012 and by 2.4% in 2013, with other crew costs thought likely to increase 2.1%for both years under review. The cost of spares, meanwhile, is expected to escalate by 2.2% in each of the two years covered by the survey.
“With crude oil prices hardening, lube costs will go up,” said one respondent, while another observed, “Fuel and lube suppliers are very aware that there is an oversupply of tonnage on the market, and take advantage of that in their dealings with owners.” Another still said, “There is ongoing pressure to reduce operating costs by means of improving vessel fuel efficiency, and in practice there might be a gap between expectations and what can be achieved as fuel and lube costs are likely to increase at a steady pace.” Elsewhere it was noted, “There is no alternative to lube oil, and costs are already very high, making it very difficult to operate a ship.” [30/10/12]