The BunkerPlanner bunker procurement optimisation tool now includes functionality to assist vessel operators to reduce costs ‘under any market combination of TC rate and bunker prices’.
BunkerPlanner calculates ‘attractive’ bunker port calls that can be included on a voyage in relation to the costs of bunkers, port calls, barges, and deviations, while also taking into account an increase in vessel speed to meet a fixed ETA at next port call.
The bunker price of any additional port call must justify the speed increase, considering the vessels bunker curve and extra distance to be sailed.
Bunker Metric notes that this approach makes good sense in most high TCE markets, where the expected TC rates exceed the extra bunker cost of speeding up.
‘However,’ says the company, ‘there is often an attractive trade-off by adding a bunker port call and delaying scheduled ETAs while maintaining a fixed speed.
‘With this approach a bunker buyer would attain a lower TC rate but would save handsomely on bunkers - a beneficial strategy in low TC environments.’
The company takes the example of a capesize bulker sailing from Port Hedland, Australia to Qingdao, China and returning, at a sailing speed of 13 knots.
It explains: ‘At TCEs below $10.000, the most attractive bunker port is Singapore. At very high TCEs, the optimal strategy is to avoid a bunker-only call and lift required bunkers in Qingdao during cargo operations.
‘The total bunker costs change from $ ~460.000 at very low TCE rates to $476.000 at higher TCE rates.
‘By identifying the correct strategy, an operator can potentially save more than $16.000, equivalent to over $200 TCE/day.’
Fernando Alvarez, Bunker Metric co-founder, commented on the new BunkerPlanner functionalities: ‘Deciding on the cheapest port to bunker is a complicated calculation, which should not be reduced to choosing the lowest $/mt. Especially interwoven are the trade-offs related to Time Charter Rate, Speed/Consumption, Deviations and Price, and are only possible to accurately overview with good system support.
‘With BunkerPlanner’s tool you can easily save hundreds of $ in TCE per day, especially in low TC markets.’
Company co-founder Christian Plum also added: ‘By including TCE in BunkerPlanner’s calculations, advice can also be given bearing in mind the intricate interplay between the optimal speed for a specified voyage, the TC rate, bunker consumption, bunker costs, canal usage and ECA zones.’