Fuel testing agency Lintec says bunker alerts are in danger of
becoming junk mail.
Rather than being the technical tool they claim to be, the increasing number
of bunker alerts shows them up as being quasi-promotional tools which
attempt to drum up fuel testing business by needlessly alarming the
"Owners should be cautious with respect to automatically generated bunker
alerts," says John Dixon
, managing director of Lintec Testing Services.
"In the event of a bunker alert, shipowners and operators should not panic.
New software allows bunker alerts to be automatically generated and easily
distributed to masses of recipients. This has caused a vast increase in
their number, and bunker alerts are now only one step away from becoming
"Too many bunker alerts are being sent out by testing companies, swamping
customers with information whose alarm factor has been greatly devalued."
Dixon says, "Bunker alerts suffer
from many problems. In the worst instances
they deny shipowners the opportunity to buy competitively priced fuel from a
perfectly good supply, because they paint an entire geographical area with
one broad brush and create an incomplete and inaccurate picture."
Lintec is aware of the commercial pressures that shipowners face and is
sensitive to their fuel buying practices.
If there really is a fuel quality problem, Lintec believes
it is vital to
inform the client personally. And this needs to be done by someone who knows
the customer and can provide detailed advice relevant to the specific