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Congestions in Shanghai to ripple to other ports

Guangzhou and Zhoushan may be next to get clogged up as the bypassing continues

As global supply chains continue to get battered by congestions, even bunkering is badly affected. Bloomberg reported the congestions in China resulted in shipowners and charterers redrawing their routes when bunkering became nearly impossible.

How bunkering is affected
When a 3-figure quantity of vessels are computed to be getting in line to get in line (to enter China ports), it is more than supply chains getting affected. When vessels are compelled to bypass ports for bunkering – going as far as to skip Singapore as an option, it warrants urgent actions to stop the mayhem.

According to data from the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), a total of 3,020 ships called at the city state to refuel last month, a drop of 441 from 2021. This led to bunker fuel sales plummeting to 3.77 million tonnes in March, the lowest seasonally since 2016. Singapore is regular a bunker stop for vessels passing through the Straits of Malacca as they take goods from Northeast Asia to Europe. Bulk carriers transporting iron ore from South America to China, and tankers carrying crude oil from the Middle East to Asia also pass the port. However, fewer ships are stopping at Singapore as congestion at ports globally prompts companies to skip the transit hub between East and West.

Moreover, bunker prices are not Singapore’s leverage to persuade vessels for a stopover unless it is significantly competitive. Traders disclosed that hundreds of bulk ships are waiting off East China to unload raw commodities. They are likely to refuel in Guangzhou or Zhoushan instead of Singapore to save time. Even Jeremy Nixon, Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Network Express (ONE) concurred that ships waiting in line are still burning lots of fuel. He added some vessels will also refuel at Fujairah in the UAE when prices are more economical than that of Singapore. MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company reportedly cancelled sailings from Europe to Asia that would have included stops in Singapore.

Marine Online Media Team
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