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Hapag-Lloyd joins competitors in announcing low sulphur fuel charge

Hapag-Lloyd is the latest major container line to announce a fuel charge to cover the costs of using compliant low sulphur fuel for the 2020 sulphur cap.

The Hamburg-headquarted container line announced it would be gradually implementing a new Marine Fuel Recovery (MFR) mechanism from 1 January 2019 to replace existing fuel surcharges. With similar charges unveiled by other lines being denounced by shippers and forwarders for lacking transparency Hapag-Lloyd claimed its new charge would allow for “causal, transparent and easy-to-understand calculation of fuel oil costs”.

With the German line to primarily use low sulphur fuels to meet the 0.5% sulphur cap for its fleet of 226 ships it estimates an additonal fuel bill of $1bn annually based on a $250 spread in the price of low sulphur and high sulphur fuel per tonne.

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“We embrace the level playing field and environmental improvements resulting from a stricter regulation, but it is obvious that this is not for free and will create additional costs. This will be mainly reflected in the fuel bills for low-sulphur fuel oil, as there is no realistic alternative for the industry remaining compliant by 2020,” said  Rolf Habben Jansen, cep of Hapag-Lloyd.

“With our MFR, we have developed a system for our customers that we think is fair, as it allows for a causal, transparent an easy-to-understand calculation of fuel costs.”


The company said the MFR tookinto account various parameters, such as the vessel consumption per day, fuel type & price, sea and port days, and carried teu.

Apart from using low sulphur fuel Hapag-Lloyd is converting one LNG-ready containership in its fleet to run on gas and fitting two vessels with scrubbers.

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