OW Bunker, one of the world’s leading physical distributors and resellers of marine fuels, has announced that it has reduced global claims1 on physical products to 0.9% for Q1 2014. This is down from an average of 1.6% in 2013.
The company set a target of reducing global claims to below 1% when it introduced its own Global Quality Standard (GQS) at the end of 2012 to ensure the quality of products supplied by its physical operations on a global basis. As part of the GQS, customers are provided with a specification analysis on physical product orders that is delivered prior to the usual testing procedures conducted by an external fuel oil analysis provider. This ensures complete transparency in the physical distribution process.
Jan Christensen, Vice President, OW Bunker, Physical Division, said:
“It is pleasing to see the steps that we have taken as a business come to fruition and begin to set new benchmarks for fuel quality within our industry. In addition to providing customers with peace of mind, it also reinforces how we, as distributors, can take more responsibility and control within the supply chain to manage risk, ensure operational efficiencies and deliver real value for money that goes beyond just the price of fuel oil. As part of these efforts to help customers better manage the total cost of vessel ownership, we will continue to focus on developing industry-leading operations and integrating them into our global physical infrastructure and network.”
In addition to the GQS, OW Bunker has established a dedicated Quality Control Department, which has developed a technical system that analyses where potential issues may arise, who might be impacted, as well as any common trends. This has enabled the company to build an operational and scalable system of real intelligence and value that facilitates insight and improves performance on a continual basis.
As well as distributing products that are compliant with the latest ISO 8217 standards, and ensuring accuracy and clarity in Bunker Delivery Note (BDN) documentation, OW Bunker also ensures quality of physical products by taking full control of the blending process. This includes always using advanced online blending skills, which negates the need for tank blending, and makes sure that air is not injected into products. It also uses online technology to monitor fuel quality to ensure that the viscosity and density of the products supplied are within the appropriate specifications. Both these methods also measure sulphur content very accurately.
Commenting on the announcement, Jens Maul Jørgensen, Chairman, International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), said: “Not only are these impressive results in terms of claims reduction by OW Bunker, it is a good example of how bunkering companies can take responsibility for implementing new, practical measures that mitigate against the risk of off-spec fuels and increase accountability for ensuring quality. IBIA’s objective is to help the industry to meet the serious challenge of off-spec bunkers, and work collaboratively with all stakeholders within the marine fuel supply chain to improve quality standards and professionalism at every level. Part of this approach is to encourage transparency within the industry, and communicate “good practice” such as that developed by leading companies such as OW Bunker. We welcome this open approach about the significant work that is being done to reduce claims.”