Ocean Freight Fuel Surcharge

When you are shipping international freight, there could be several types of surcharges you encounter that requirement a payment. These surcharges are usually included in your ocean freight rate, but it depends on many factors such as the location and time of year. Most shippers are familiar with one fuel surcharge, the bunker adjustment factor. This is based on the price of oil used in the ocean vessels. Many people also call this a fuel surcharge. And with the price of fuel increasing over the years, obviously this surcharge increased as well.

Some carriers have tried to cruise at lower speeds, which could cut fuel costs by as much as 30%. But slower ships and longer trips isn’t ideal for time-sensitive shipments, so fuel-efficient vessels are needed. Many freight forwarders are hopeful that fuel-efficient ocean freight ships could lower this fuel expense. In addition to the financial benefits, fuel-efficient vessels would be helpful since they would pollute dramatically less. After all, one current container ship is said to pollute as much as 50 million cars. However, a new report from the Journal of Commerce states that despite some fuel-efficient ships on the market, many carriers have not lowered the fuel surcharge yet, leaving many international shippers frustrated.

Shippers need to plan ahead if the fuel surcharges continue to remain high on international freight shipments. Hopefully, the increasingly popular fuel-efficient cargo ships will influence carriers to lower their fuel charges, like the bunker adjustment factor, which in turn will lower your container shipping rates.