With the concerns over the quality and compatibility of the IMO 2020 compliant fuels to continue and with ‘bad bunkers’ cases still in the news, ExxonMobil has decided to transform its business model and focus on growing its direct bunker sales. With this, the company desires to control its fuel quality throughout the supply chain and avoid issues related with the lack of transparency which still exists in the industry.
Bunker quality is expected to highly vary in the post-2020 era as a result of the many different blended fuels on sale. ExxonMobil is the first major oil company who has announced that its fuels will be able to be blended irrespective of where in the world they have been sourced. However, for the best result to get achieved and the fuel to maintain its quality standards, best practices need to be followed in regards with the blending, handling, storage and bunkering, the company notifies.
To maintain the top quality of its fuel and offer high quality services to its clients, the company has decided to increase its deliveries directly to ships, Luca Volta, the marine fuels venture manager at ExxonMobil explained.
According to Volta, ExxonMobil has analyzed all the markets, where the company is active, in order to evaluate which strategy is the optimum and most effective for both the company and its clients. As a result the said strategy may not apply only to major bunkering ports like Singapore and Rotterdam, but to smaller ports also like Hong Kong, Genoa, Thailand and Marseilles, Luca Volta explained.
The company expects that such an end-to-end strategy will not only maintain the offered quality in good shape, but will also be beneficial for the company’s overall bunkering operations, leading to increased sales and cut of expenses. However, despite the boost that wants to give to its direct sales, the oil major says it will continue to offer its products through traders, depending on the location and the circumstances.
“We believe we have the right bunker fuel products and that we can deliver them in a cost effective way. But that doesn’t mean if you have a direct channel to market, you can’t also have an indirect channel to market. The two options are not mutually exclusive,” Volta concluded.