World Shipping Council: Cleaner fuel will cost twice as much
The World Shipping Council said record fuel prices are placing stress on container carriers, and warned that new environmental initiatives to address vessel air emissions will force costs even higher.
“Bunker prices have risen 87 percent since the beginning of 2007. Fuel costs represent as much as 50-60 percent of total ship operating costs, depending on the type of ship and service,” the trade association of liner container and roll-on/roll-off carriers said in a statement released Friday.
The fact that crude oil prices have topped $119 per barrel this week has resulted in marine bunker fuel prices of more than $552 per ton, $26 per ton more than they were at the end of March, the council said. Today it can cost a carrier $3.4 million or more to power a 7,750-TEU container vessel on a 28-day transpacific roundtrip voyage.
The council said it has “fully supported the efforts of the U.S. and other governments to establish new environmental standards for vessel air emissions, and supports the new standards that the International Maritime Organization has recently agreed to for new engine standards and new fuel standards.”
But it cautioned “the cost of low-sulfur fuels to be used in Emission Control Areas will be roughly double the cost of bunker fuel, thus creating even more upward operating cost pressures going forward.”