Carriers are now starting to react to the regulations concerning reduced sulfur emissions from ships operating in Northern Europe. The rules are set to come into force on January 1st 2015. Unifeeder, along with MSC, are the first ones to announce new surcharges for customers transporting cargo in the SECA zones.
Virtually all of Unifeeder's business comes from Northern Europe, in addition to loops in the Mediterranean, and the carrier will thus spend a great deal of time operating in the zones. Unifeeder will therefore either have to switch to Marine Gas Oil (MGO) with a 0.1 sulfur content, or install scrubbers on its vessels to clean sulfur from their exhaust. The company has chosen MGO, which is approximately 50 percent more expensive than the current fuel, Sulfur IFO, according to Unifeeder.