Despite its strength and significant role in world trade, the shipping industry is potentially vulnerable to an Achilles Heel where financing its bunker fuel procurement is concerned.Without fuel, a vessel cannot budge. Money to buy it is an issue for small shipping companies hit by new regulations and depressed market conditions, and the conditions are constantly changing.


Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, fuel vendors (suppliers, traders), banks and insurance companies are all reassessing the financial health of their respective customers – and, therefore, the credit lines they provide.

Physical supplier credit lines have become less available, while bunker traders credit lines have become tighter and toleration for delayed payments has been reduced.

Bunkerers are being careful about who they sell to. Credit managers are cutting credit terms from 30 days to 15, decreasing the amounts, and offering by cash in advance payments for new customers.

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