Inatech develops “Smart Trader app” to tackle bunker fuel complexity


Inatech, a Glencore subsidiary which specialises in trading risk management systems, has developed a new app to deal with the opaque and complex bunkering environment post IMO2020. With the help of this app, shipowners will be able to make well-informed decisions related with their vessels’ bunkering, in order to better manage their operating, market and counter-party risks.

With the use of this app, shipping companies will be able to track their fleet position and the fuel levels onboard each vessel on an integrated system which will enable them to improve planning. This along with live news and updates about prices of all grades of fuel as provided by S&P Global Platts will help companies manage price volatility and market risks.

Furthermore, the app coordinates with local bunker suppliers and traders to assess, at any given time, information related with fuel availability, fuel quality and compatibility with vessel’s fuel tanks. Based on this information, along with pricing trends in various bunkering ports in the direction of vessels’ route, it may propose alternative routes for ship operators to achieve the optimum result between higher quality and lower cost.

Counter-party risk can also be better managed through offered features, such as potential suppliers’ credit references, quality rating and historical performance in this dynamic market. With such information in Buyers’ hands, transparency is expected to be materially increased since Buyers will now have information related with factors which currently remain opaque, such as bunker availability, bunker quality, market pricing and counter-party performance.

According to Jean-Herve Jenn, CEO of Inatech:

“Improved technology is vital because the new IMO rules will not only increase costs but could also trigger unprecedented volatility in prices as a widening array of choice between the various fuel oil types skews supply and demand dynamics in what is still a relatively opaque market”.

Danish tanker owner Torm has been an early adopter of this technology and it is expected that more and more shipping companies will sign up as we are moving closer to 2020. As Inatech says, “Smart Trader aids industry facing $60 billion extra fuel bill from low-sulphur rules in 2020”


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