Lines need to go hunting for low sulphur fuel bargains
According to Alphaliner, the member carriers of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have unveiled their recommended low sulphur fuel (LSF) surcharges to be applied from 1 January 2015. The LSF will be used to recover the additional costs of cleaner fuels, which, mandated by new environmental regulations, will have to be used in the emission control areas (ECA) of North America and Europe from the date above.
The TSA LSF charges start at USD 53 and USD 67 per 40 ft container (feu) for shipments from the Far East to the North American west and east coasts, respectively. The additional cost for 20 ft containers (teu) are to be applied at 90% of the feu levels (although the TSA has failed to justify the disproportionate 20 ft/40 ft ratio).
The charges will be adjusted quarterly, based on a 13 week average of weekly fuel prices.
Even before the surcharges take effect, there are already significant gaps between the proposed levels to be applied by various carriers, Alphaliner says. MSC and CMA CGM for instance, both TSA members, have unveiled individual LSF surcharges lower than those recommended by the TSA. Notably, MSC’s proposed charge for 20 ft containers is some 50% lower than the TSA guideline.