MSC estimates the cost of changes to its fleet and fuel supply that the IMO 2020 sulphur cap requires will cost the company more than US$2bn per year, necessitating the introduction of new bunker charges as of 1 January.

In a communication to customers, the company explained it was already incurring costs in its preparation for the implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap.

“We believe that it is essential to segregate transparently the burden of fuel costs, in order for this cost to be passed on visibly throughout the supply chain,” the company wrote.

“Passing on that cost is also vital to ensure the sustainable future of the container shipping industry.”

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MSC will implement a “bunker recovery charge”, which it said would be “transparent to respective trades”.

“It will reflect the true additional cost that MSC will incur as a result of the regulatory changes we all support in order to protect the environment.”

The new charge is to replace the current bunker contribution, fuel adjustment factor and the emergency fuel surcharge, but charges specifically related to coastal emission control areas are to remain in place.

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