The new low-sulphur bunker oil VLSFO has become extremely popular in Port of Rotterdam. In fact, half of all November bunker sales were for VLSFO, as seen from the bunkering notifications via the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s TimeToBunker App.
The TimeToBunker App shows that VLSFO sales have increased significantly over the last two months, with September registering 1,700 tonnes, October 32,000 tonnes and November 95,000 tonnes.
This means that the VLSFO percentage within total fuel oil sales rose from 1.8% in September to 51.6% in November. This separation based on fuel oil sulphur levels can only be made in TimeToBunker.
The sulphur level of fuel oil is not stated in standard bunkering notifications, but Ronald Backers, the Port Authority’s bunkering expert, suspects that this trend is indicative for all bunker sales in Rotterdam:
The TimeToBunker App has been used since February and is a huge success. Over a third of all bunkering notifications run via the app. I see no reason to assume that companies that still make standard bunkering notifications have completely different clients with completely different fuel oil purchasing behaviour
Despite the fact that even stricter sulphur regulations apply to shipping on the North Sea and bunker oil may only contain 0.1% sulphur, many shipping companies in Rotterdam are ordering VLSFO, because they also sail intercontinentally and not just across the North Sea.