German fleet operator SAL Heavy Lift has hired Inatech, a unit of Glencore, to help compliance with new low-sulphur emissions rules and optimise bunker strategies.

In the post IMO 2020 environment the speed of business and the scale of risk has gone up. This requires quicker decision making on market risk management and better operational planning to cope with changing demand. To add to this potent mix, new customs regulations in the Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hamburg region require a more robust audit trail of product movement.

Anticipating a spike in fuel price volatility and supply dislocation from the International Maritime Organization’s new rules, Inatech designed Smart Trader to enable companies to track their vessels on an integrated system that displays fuel levels on board, news alerts and live pricing data from S&P Global Platts. The tool syncs with Inatech’s established Shiptech platform, which enables emission control area compliance and can calculate a fuel’s energy content, or calorific value, an increasingly vital metric for purchasing decisions since the arrival of new low-sulphur fuels.

“Smart Trader and Shiptech are now a crucial part of our operational infrastructure, ensuring that we are fully compliant and have complete visibility on all aspects of our fleets and bunker buying,” said Danny Stutzbecher, Head of Bunkers of SAL Heavy Lift in Hamburg. “This has been an important part of our preparation for 2020.”

Smart Trader data covers refined wholesale and retail marine fuels at more than 350 ports worldwide, along with regional indices, spreads, and moving averages. Potential suppliers are checked for quality and credit references to control counterparty risk.

“We are going through the most significant overhaul of regulations in a generation and most shipping companies are using the transition phase to rethink how they manage risk and costs,” Inatech’s Senior Vice President Alok Sharma said. “Proactive energy management is key to ensuring competitiveness – bunker procurement is now at the heart of a shipping companies strategy.”