ExxonMobil Marine Fuels believes that demand for bunkers, which has suffered in the wake of the
September 11 attacks on the United States, will soon recover.
Writing in the latest issue of HorsePower, the EMMF newsletter, Joe Rud, GM
of fleet purchasing, business development and e-commerce, said, "Volumes have dropped, but not by anything like the 20 percent hit the airline industry has taken. Prices are down too, as the price of a barrel of oil has fallen into the low twenty-dollar range. But EMMF has taken specific action to improve security and to maintain customer relationships, and believes that demand will soon recover.
"In the current climate, everyone has become more security-conscious. EMMF has focused on its points of interaction with customers. It has tightened
standards of identification of personnel across its entire network, and more stringent checking of documentation and delivery has been instituted. That adds to costs, but it gives customers peace of mind."
EMMF also believes that the recovery period for shipping may also bring new opportunities. "Freight rates have tumbled," says Rud. "Ship prices have tumbled with them, and bunker prices are down. That represents an opportunity for counter-cyclical investment. Shipping is now an opportunity industry."