Billion-dollar savings for container lines

It was expected that the new 0.5-per-cent sulphur fuels (also known as VLSFO) that became mandatory as from 1 January 2020 would be significantly more expensive than traditional high-sulphur bunker fuel with a price spread of around USD 200 per ton. As container lines typically use around 55 million tons fuel per year, this would result in added costs of USD 11 billion in 2020, according to analyst firm Sea-Intelligence.

But the price spread has since then narrowed considerably, to the significant benefit of shipping lines. “If we assume the VLSFO fuel price for November and December remains at the same average level as seen in August–October 2020, we will end 2020 at a point where the carriers collectively have saved 2.2 billion USD on fuel, compared to 2019,” writes the firm.

Source: Shipping Watch, 26 October 2020

In this issue


The clock is ticking to achieve the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. To be clear right from the start: this goal deserves every effort that mankind can pull off. In the name of realism, this is the goal we must focus on now, given the current level of progress in reducing greenhouse gases. However, damage to marine ecosystems will not be avoided even if we reach this goal1. In fact, damage already occurs at current levels of warming, as evidenced by the bleaching of coral reefs2. This may be an inconvenient truth when our current goal is 1.5°C.

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