London, UK, 08 January 2020 – Drewry Supply Chain Advisors, the ocean freight cost benchmarking and procurement support division of Drewry, is pleased to announce the launch of a new range of fuel advisory and management services designed exclusively for shippers and forwarders. The new services extend Drewry’s advisory capability at a time when fuel is becoming an increasingly important part of transport costs and increasingly subject to regulations.
“Following implementation of the IMO 2020 low-sulphur rule change we have already seen extreme variations in fuel charges between carriers on the same tradelane, for similar ship sizes - even shared vessels,” said Philip Damas, head of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors. “On the Asia-to-US East Coast route, for example, across a sample of five carriers, we saw some had increased their BAFs by as much as 40% in 1Q 2020, whereas others by just 15%.”
Drewry has been working closely with shippers and industry representative organisations such as the European Shipper’s Council (ESC) in recent months on a number of initiatives aimed at improving fuel cost transparency and contractual practices, such that shippers can reduce their exposure to excessive BAFs and have greater control over and understanding of the fuel portion of ocean freight rates.
“We anticipate confusion over the new charges introduced by carriers will continue for some months yet as the market fully adapts to the new fuel standard,” said Mr Damas. “By helping review their existing processes and implement a standard BAF mechanism, covering measurement and adjustment periods, fuel prices and index formulae, we believe shippers and forwarders can gain both clarity and more control over fuel prices - essential pre-requisites to achieving more competitive and successful outcomes from their carrier negotiations.”
Drewry continues to monitor and report developments closely via Drewry’s Benchmarking Club, which gives exporters and importers exclusive access to average contract bunker charges by tradelane and Drewy’s new low-sulphur reference bunker index tracker (NB you must register and login to access this page).