Maersk's ships have been running more quickly to take advantage of the current surging container freight market. File Image / Pixabay
Shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, the world's largest consumer of marine fuels, saw its bunker purchases gain 16.8% in the second quarter from the lows of the COVID-19 crisis last year.
The firm used 2.7 million mt of bunkers in the second quarter, it said in financial results released on Friday, up from 2.3 million mt in the same period a year earlier. The company paid an average of $475/mt for its fuel, up by 44.8% from the $328/mt in the second quarter of 2020.
The increase in bunker demand was "driven by an increase in deployed capacity and increased speeding on all trades in response to low schedule reliability," the company said.
The firm saw a worsening of its fuel efficiency as a result, with fuel consumption rising by 0.7% on the year to 40.99 grams per TEU per nautical mile.
Maersk carried a total of 3.3 million FFE in the second quarter, up by 15.1% on the year. The container industry is currently operating at near maximum capacity with a surge in US imports this year. The company's average freight rate in the second quarter was $3,038/FFE, up by 58.6% from last year.