Bunkering services

Interested in Bunkering Services? Important points to keep in mind.

Bunkering services refer to providing fuel to a ship either afloat or while the ship on a bunkering station. Many components are covered by ship bunkering services. The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of bunkering services, as well as the important factors to think about when providing a ship bunker.

What are Bunkering Services?

Bunkering is the process of providing fuel for propulsion, mainly by other ships’ use (called bunker ship), including the logistics of loading and distributing the fuel on board. A person dealing in the trade of bunker (fuel) is called a bunker trader. The term bunkering originated during the steamship era when coal was stored in bunkers. The term bunker nowadays refers to petroleum products stored in tanks and bunkering to the practice and business of refueling ships. In seaports, bunkering operations include the storage and supply of ship fuel (bunker).

The importance of Bunkering

A bunker is important since it powers a ship’s engine and moves it from point A to point B. When buying bunkers, it is important to choose the right counterpart in order to secure the agreed bunker specification, quality and quantity on delivery. The expense for bunkers represent a large portion of a vessel’s daily OPEX, so it’s critical it’s bought at the right time, supplied as agreed, so the vessel isn’t delayed, and the quality is right so that the vessel doesn’t have problems burning the oil or worse, breaks down.

What is the process of bunkering?

Bunkering can take place onshore or offshore, with the bunkers pumped into the receiver vessel through a bunker hose. Bunkers can be loaded onshore using a tank truck or pipeline station; onshore bunkering is handled by a bunker barge, called STS (ship-to-ship).

What is ship-to-ship (STS) bunkering?

An STS or ship-to-ship transfer refers to the transfer of a ship’s cargo, which can be oil or gas cargo, between two merchant tanker vessels positioned alongside each other. Either the ships can stand still or the STS operation can also be performed while ships are underway. But it requires proper coordination, equipment, and approval to perform such an operation. Both the masters of the ships are responsible for the entire STS operation.

The stages of bunkering operation

The bunkering procedure on a ship can be divided into three important stages:

  1. Preparation– Preparing for the bunkering operation which will involve the readiness of bunkering equipment, storage tanks, and bunkering safety
  2. Perform– Performing the bunkering operation in real-time as per the pre-decided procedure and receiving the marine fuel according to the bunker plan
  3. Wrap-up– Wrapping up the bunkering operation with utmost safety and ensuring the correct amount and quality of bunker fuel has been received onboard from the bunkering facilities (bunker ship or shore truck etc.)

What are the three main types of bunkers?

The most common types of bunkers are Low Sulphur Fuel Oil, High Sulphur l Oil, and Low Sulphur MFueGO.

What is the cost of bunker fuel?

The price for bunkers depends on what kind of product is required, which port it is required in, and the current price level of the crude oil at the given moment. The market price is traded globally and is altered on daily basis based on numerous factors on a macroeconomic level.

What is the bunker cost in shipping?

It is the cost of the bunkers a vessel consumes to move cargo from A to B. The cost depends on which type of bunker the vessel use, how much is used, and at what market level it has been purchased.

Why choose Karval Shipping Agency for bunkering in Greece?

Our team can undertake all necessary formalities and coordination with the physical bunkering supplier chosen by the owner’s or charterers’ side and arrange the delivery on board once all procedures have been conducted and reported to the Port & Customs Authorities.

In addition, we can provide you with independent Bunkering Surveyors to be on board the vessel during the bunkering operation and take necessary measurements, prepare the respective reporting, and take the necessary oil sample.

Also, bunker oil sample analysis can be carried out in certified laboratories in Piraeus, Greece or to be sent abroad to the designated labs of the owners’ or charterers’ desire.

We support the recent IMO regulations towards CO2 emission reduction and we are closely monitoring the renewable fuels updates to keep our clients informed.

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Hull cleaning and propeller polishing


Greece’s crystal clear waters are not beneficial only to the visiting tourists but also to the trading vessels in our region. Numerous cases also in November with In Water Surveys (IWS) with the presence of Classification Societies as well as Underwater Hull Cleaning and Propeller Polishing services were carried out in different anchorage areas around Greece. Our diving teams are well equipped to carry out within one full day all necessary services, subject vessel’s hull condition, even to larger Suezmax tanker vessels. Detailed reporting is provided to all concerned parties and our trustful ladies are able to continue their trade on a more efficient way. Let’s keep the charterers happy!


A new report published on November 15th from the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester highlights the major role the shipping sector will play in transporting the green fuels necessary to meet global climate goals. The report provides insights on the implications for the shipping sector of different global energy scenarios pushing to limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the opportunities for shipping to support the global low carbon transition.

To achieve the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals, the authors identify low-carbon hydrogen and sustainable bioenergy as essential. The study found that government policies, including guaranteed markets and prices for producers and consumers, were hampering investment in the shipping infrastructure needed to support the global energy transition.

According to the International Energy Agency, there is a huge gap between what is planned and what is needed for low-carbon hydrogen by 2030: already-announced projects will only produce 24 million tonnes by 2030. Only 4% of these projects have reached a final investment decision. Government policies must be strengthened to give low-carbon hydrogen producers, shippers, and consumers the confidence they need to invest. According to the report’s co-author, Professor Alice Larkin, the shipping sector is crucial in transporting green fuels to meet the Paris climate goals. To meet the Paris goals, we must scale up the production of green fuels. Bioenergy and hydrogen converted into ammonia are transported by shipping during this global energy transition. According to the study, ammonia and bioenergy could be transported by sea in the same way as gas and coal in the future. The green hydrogen supply chain would require around 20 large ammonia carriers every year. Due to the timeline of 2–3 years for building new vessels, shipping industry representatives said they needed certainty about hydrogen production as soon as possible. According to the report, governments should send “stronger market signals” to the shipping industry to reduce the fear of new ships not being used to transport low-carbon fuels. The International Chamber of Shipping commissioned and welcomed the report. In its report, the Tyndall Centre identified several ways that government policy can be made more effective at enabling investment. It may be necessary to create mandatory mandates for increasing the percentage of green hydrogen, to create production credits for hydrogen production, or to provide producers and consumers with guaranteed markets and prices. USA, Germany, and India have already tested such measures.

The International Chamber of Shipping Secretary General Guy Platten said: “The shipping industry knows it has a crucial role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. Governments must develop much stronger policies to de-risk green hydrogen production before we invest. Both imports and exports of hydrogen must be supported by national hydrogen strategies. Despite the industry’s readiness, stronger market signals and infrastructure investment are urgently needed to make this happen. If the shipping sector can energize faster growth in sustainable fuels, it will be playing a pioneering role in closing the gap between grand theoretical plans and a real-world fit for future generations.


Peak summer time for Karval Agency

Summertime has been more than positively overwhelming for our Port Agency

With congestion easing at key ports in the U.S., this problem remains a major concern in other parts of the world, especially Europe.

The congestion at many European ports has reached critical levels, and with that not being enough, major European Terminals are witnessing reduced productivity, mostly caused by labor shortages.

A statement by Hapag Lloyd read that congestion at two French ports had reached critical levels, therefore a congestion surcharge is to come into effect.

Very high yard densities at North European container terminals and inland transport bottlenecks are aggravating port congestion problems in the trade between the Far East and North Europe. Container ships deployed on this route currently need on average 101 days to complete a full round voyage.

At Antwerp’s port, although operations remain stable, the holiday season has resulted in a reduction in labor availability. Most of the storage at the port is occupied, as the average yard utilization stands at 80 percent. ECT, Rotterdam, has similar conditions, with yard space up to 85 percent full and reefers at 100 percent plug utilization. The pick-up rate has improved for transshipment and import cargo, despite long dwell times.

At some ports and terminals, the peak has passed, however, there is still a lot of port congestion in the UK. With the congestion at ports taking its toll on the region, in many parts of Europe, limited trucking availability has clogged the movement of goods.