Container shipping took a sharp hit from the COVID-19 crisis earlier this year. File Image / Pixabay
AP Moller-Maersk, the owner of the world's largest shipping company, saw its bunker consumption drop by 14.4% in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a sharp decline in the freight volumes it carried.
Total bunker consumption dropped to 2.333 million mt in the second quarter, down from 2.777 million mt in the same period a year earlier, the company said in an earnings release Wednesday.
The company is the world's largest consumer of bunker fuel, and one of the biggest corportate consumers of any kind of oil. The decline in its bunker requirements can be taken as an indicator of the scale of the demand falls seen around the world earlier this year as the current economic crisis started to take hold.
The company carried a total of 2.903 million forty-foot equivalent units (FFE) in the second quarter, down by 15.7% on the year.
Maersk's decline in fuel consumption was partly driven by increased fuel efficiency, with bunker consumption per TEU per nautical mile falling by 2.4% to 40.7 g/TEU*NM.
The company paid an average of $328/mt for its bunker fuel in the second quarter, down from $436/mt a year earlier.