Gaps in the provision of IMO2020 compliant fuels could lead to shortages in some ports in Africa, South America and southeast Asia, shipping conference panellists have said.
But most major ports around the world will be adequately supplied, Mare Forum USA was told.
If shortages in some places force vessels to detour to ports with ample supplies, any diversions would be costly for fuel sellers and ship owners, US academic and supply chain specialist Maria Burns was reported as saying by Reuters.
Quality concerns surrounding the new fuels were also raised by the panel.
"If something is keeping us up at night, it's the quality and compatibility of the fuels. You can get a different blend with different components at the same port. If they get bad fuel, they have to deal with it onboard," Sean Kline of the Chamber of Shipping of America was quoted as saying.
Although bunker fuels prices are expected to be at their most volatile in the first half of next year, the panel's views chime with others in the industry.
Managing director at bunker company Glander International Morten Langthjem told Ship & Bunker last month that changes to bunker fuel demand in the major ports post-IMO2020 are expected to be minimal.