Capuccino bunkers


Published: 29 September 2014

The Association is grateful to The Bunker Detectives / AVA Marine Group Inc. for permission to republish their Loss Prevention Bulletin AVA/2014/0018.

The situation

The Association has assisted members, both owners and charterers, on many occasions with respect to disputes over the quantity of fuel supplied during re-fuelling.

Despite a greater attention being paid to vessel fuelling operations these days, both for the purpose of reducing the risk of accidental spills as well as due to the increased cost of fuel over the last ten years, these types of disputes continue to arise.

In the recent LP Bulletin from The Bunker Detectives, the issue of cappuccino is explored in detail, and while it is not the only issue, it remains one of the most common reasons for argument over alleged supplied quantities of fuel.

Loss prevention advice

A close focus on bunkering operations continues to be a key operational issue for both owners and charterers. While there may be a temptation to save on costs by not always having a representative attend to the supply of the fuel, it is something that members should consider investing in as a loss prevention and evidence preservation measure.

Furthermore, it is important to ensure that chief engineers have sufficient time to properly prepare for the receipt of fuel and can take the necessary steps to check that the supply is made properly. That will mean planning on board duties in advance for the supply period, and ensuring that the chief is free from other duties and has had appropriate rest so that he can attend to this task with a fresh mind and clear focus.

Members have reported at times that when they have sought to carry out checks on the supply operation that they received little or no cooperation from the supply barges and / or were advised the barges would withdraw from the supply. While there may at times be significant commercial pressure on vessels to complete fuelling operations quickly, these must be balanced against the need not to be pressured into making short cuts or failing to follow up on noted issues of concern over the supply process.

In case masters and chiefs find they face a difficult situation, they should not hesitate to contact local Club correspondents for assistance.

Future developments

A very welcome development will be introduction of Mass Flow Meters by 2017 in Singapore, which is likely to be a very significant development towards reducing disputes over fuel supply quantities. The Association previously reported on this pending development.

Singapore will therefore be at the front of developments that all owners and charterers should welcome as positive step to reducing the impact of this issue.