Bulugo said the purpose-built platform is aimed at helping operators reduce time and cost involved in sourcing fuel and lubricants.
Users can search an online database of potential suppliers across several criteria, including fuel type, port, date of availability and compliance with IMO sulphur regulations. Fuel suppliers, on the other hand, will benefit by tapping into a wider pool of customers including those that would previously only have been accessible through expensive analogue legwork.
“Pressure to reduce operating costs whilst addressing climate change makes the bunker industry ripe for technological disruption,” said Adrian Phillimore, operations director of Bulugo. “Bulugo’s smart technology supported by our team’s experience in the marine industry will benefit all users of the platform.”
Bulugo pointed out that bunker and lubricant trading is one of the few elements of shipping that remains relatively untouched by digitalisation. Opaque pricing, disparate parties and a high level of complexity mean that digital platforms – as with consumer comparison websites – can play an important role in making the market more transparent and less complicated.
The recently enforced IMO 2020 global sulphur cap regulation is a good example of increasing cost and complexity. Bulugo shared that the compliant 0.5% sulphur fuel is currently trading at approximately $300 premium to the high sulphur fuel oil at some ports.
On the lubricant side, there are more products than ever on the market, making matching the appropriate lubricant and fuel a more daunting task. The Bulugo platform is able to simplify the process by helping buyers filter products to find compliant fuel and purchase the appropriate lubricants at the same time.