Bunker Barge

Three startups simplifying bunker procurement

2020 is just around the corner. Throughout the last year, there have been many attempts to predict the changes we will see in bunker prices when the sulphur cap kicks in. At this point though, no one really knows what is going to happen in January.

Having a proper strategy to cope with fluctuating prices is key to minimising disruption. Part of that strategy should be taking a flexible, data-driven approach to bunker procurement. The majority of bunkering transactions are still made and fixed by phone and email. A number of startups are working on transforming the process by improving access to data and the procurement experience. If you are currently reviewing your bunker procurement, here are three companies to consider:

Bunker Connect

Bunker Connect provides a direct link between fuel buyers and suppliers. By cutting out traders and agents they can reduce price arbitrage and transaction fees and reduce the risk of financial disputes arising from the insolvency of an intermediary.

Submitting RFQs through Bunker Connect is around 30 minutes faster than traditional methods, and they have been able to reduce total bunker expenses for clients by 1-1.5%.


Bunkerex is an online portal that helps ship operators to find the optimum bunker port on a voyage. Taking into account live prices, deviation costs, laycan, port fees and other variables, the platform makes it easy to calculate the cheapest bunkering option available to a vessel.

Want live bunker prices on the move? The team at Bunkerex have even made it possible to plan voyages from Whatsapp. Add the phone number +44 118 310 0466 to your address book and send them any set of port pairs followed by the word bunker (eg. Rotterdam-Singapore Bunker).


BunkerMetric develops a range of tools to serve the marine bunkers industry. Their BunkerPlanner tool considers a wide range of operational constraints, such as tank capacities, margin requirements, commingling constraints, SECAs, and fuel quantities to recommend the optimal quantity and type of fuel to lift at each location.

Taking into account the most recent bunker pricing and availability information, as well as each vessel’s consumption pattern and expected route, BunkerPlanner uses sophisticated optimization algorithms to crunch through hundreds of alternative bunkering plans and uncover previously unrealised savings.

Bunkering is a complex and unpredictable process, but the market also generates vast quantities of data that is only now being fully realised to generate savings. When that data is used correctly, price fluctuations can become opportunities to save money. Whether you get it by web platform or Whatsapp, good bunker data can be the difference between a profitable voyage and unsustainable losses.