When you organise bunkering, it goes without saying that you want to make sure you eliminate, or at the very least minimise, issues during the process.
There are several ways to ensure the bunkering process runs smoothly.
1) Appoint an agent to follow up the vessel's ETA (arrival) and ETD (departure) so the bunkering will be scheduled during the port stay, without interrupting the vessel's operation.
2) Appoint a surveyor - A surveyor is a 3rd party who will check and compare the starting and closing figures on the vessel and barge to ensure the quantity on board was the actual quantity delivered. In other words, they will make sure the sampling is conducted correctly.
However, the global Covid-19 pandemic has impacted this process and restrictions have been put in place to minimise the number of people going onboard barges. While previously the crew or surveyors could go onboard the bunker barge to check the before and after figures with their own eyes, this is now no longer possible.
Bunker One (a fuel supplier) have recently introduced a live bunkering stream onboard their bunker barge MT AMAK SWAN. The barge is currently being stationed in Danish and Swedish waters.
[Photo shows Bunker barge Amak Swan leaving the shipyard]
Could this innovation be the future for surveyors?
There are many benefits to the digitising this process - not only can recording the live stream help to minimise personal contact on board and add transparency to the bunkering procedure (thus minimising disputes), the information can also be accessed up to 45 days later, proving to be a useful record of the process.
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