Bunker costs in container liner shipping : are slow steaming practices reflected in maritime fuel surcharges?
Institute for Transport en Maritime Management (ITMMA)
ECONSHIP 2011 Conference, University of the Aegean, Chios, 22-24 June 2011
University of Antwerp
Slow steaming has been implemented by the main liner shipping companies since 2008. The reduction in vessel speed affects fuel consumption and should be reflected within the fuel surcharges paid by shippers. This article assesses if this was the case for the main outbound European container trades from the port of Antwerp. Through an extensive analysis of liner service characteristics, fuel costs and fuel surcharges this paper provides an answer to three research questions (a) How significant are slow steaming practices in container liner shipping?; (b) What is the impact of slow steaming on fuel consumption and liner service characteristics?; and (c) To what extent has slow steaming changed the relation between fuel costs and fuel surcharges imposed on shippers by shipping lines?