Maersk Line to introduce low sulphur surcharge

Maersk Line has announced a new Low Sulphur Surcharge which it hopes will help offset the additional costs which come as a result of switching to cleaner fuels in ECA
Maersk Line to introduce low sulphur surcharge
The Triple-E Mary Maersk

Shipping company, Maersk Line is set to introduce a new Low Sulphur Surcharge (LSS), which it says will offset the costs that come with the switch to cleaner fuels in Emission Control Areas (ECA).

As of 1 January 2015 new rules will come into place in ECA in North Europe and North America which only allow 0.1 percent sulphur content in any fuel burned.

Maersk Line’s surcharge will affect all trades with origin and/or destination in the ECA. The level of the surcharge has been set by the company to be trade-specific and apply to headhaul/backhaul and dry/reefer cargo. The surcharge will also vary depending on the costs for low sulphur fuels in particular trades.

In a statement, Maersk Line said: “We believe that a separate surcharge will provide better transparency to our customers on the additional costs arising from the new environmental requirements than if we had integrated the costs into our existing bunker surcharge (SBF), as previously communicated.”

Fuel with a low sulphur content in line with the new regulations is significantly more pricey than fuel at the current standard of 1.0 percent sulphur content. According to Maersk, the additional cost to the liner business will be approximately $200 million a year. 

According to the company’s website, the LSS will range from $30 per FFE on Far East Asia - North Europe trade to $160 per FFE on Canada - North Europe trade. 

The surcharge, the company says, has been implemented "to pass on the additional costs for providing shipping services in the ECA areas to those customers benefiting from the services." 


by Laura Stackhouse Editor

Laura Stackhouse is the Web Editor of, an official publication of the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA). To discuss news, features or contributing to please get in touch.

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