Steamship lines are expected to adjust their bunker surcharges in coming weeks to account for the higher cost of low sulfur fuel that they are required to use in the "emission control area" (ECA) within 200 miles of the U.S. and Canada coasts. The Coast Guard will begin enforcing a requirement that ships burn 1 percent sulfur fuel on Aug. 1. Worldwide, ships can burn fuel with as much as 3.5 percent sulfur, though there is also an ECA off the coast in the Baltic and North Sea.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. said it will impose a low sulfur surcharge on shipments to and from all U.S. ports, beginning in early August.
The company said the surcharge will be $10 per 20-foot container and $20 per 40-foot container for cargo moving through East Coast and Gulf ports and $12 per 20-foot container and $24 per 40-foot container for cargo moving through West Coast ports.
The company said however, that it is not planning, at least immediately, to apply such a charge on cargo moving between the U.S. and Asia.
Hapag-Lloyd said it will adjust its current surcharge for low sulfur fuel in coming days. Currently the company has an $11 low sulfur fuel surcharge on cargo moving to and from North Europe because of the Europe ECA.
Maersk says its standard bunker adjustment formulas takes into consideration low sulfur fuel oosts in trades where it is used.
Low sulfur fuel surcharges are common on services calling Europe, including ferry operators such as Stena