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The trans-Pacific trades will announce the low-sulfur fuel oil surcharges on shippers next month as they phase compliant vessels into their fleets in order to meet the International Maritime Organization’s LSFO requirements taking effect January 1. They intend to charge shippers in November and December.

It will make the last two months confusing for BCOs because each carrier will have its own temporary surcharges. These surcharges will be charged for spot and contract shipments based on how much LSFO their vessels consume during the interim period.

BCOs have been equally diverse as to how they are approaching the IMO 2020 mandate which limits bunker fuel to 0.5 percent sulfur content, down from 3.5 percent today. Some BCOs have brought third-party experts with them to meetings with carriers, and they have provided detailed analyses as to what they believe the additional cost for low-sulfur fuel should be. Most BCOs have spoken with their carrier representatives and asked questions, but have yet to receive definitive answers as to what the final formulas will look like.

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