Bunkering a vessel doesn’t mean placing it in an actual bunker. It’s actually referred to the process of resupplying the vessel with oil or fuel, so that it can be seaworthy and continue its journey. The process is conducted when the ship is in dock, and the entire process is rather delicate. Needless to say, it also requires a great strategy and efficient logistics.
The name bunkering or bunkers originated from storage spaces where coal has been bunkered down way back when ships used to run on coal.
The name persist to this very day even though ships no longer use coal as fuel. Therefore, a cargo ship may have bunkers in Cairns port, for example, that will ensure the vessel’s seaworthiness once it docks and unloads or loads its cargo. With that in mind, let’s have a look at how bunkers for ships work.
How do bunkers for large vessels and cargo ships work?
As you may already know, large transportation and cargo ships run on a tight schedule. They make deliveries across the world and must, therefore, reach their destination on time. So, when a ship docks into a port, the process of bunkering must begin immediately to avoid any delays.
Specialists that take care of the bunkering will resupply and refuel the vessel, as well as provide it with other necessitates while the vessel’s business at the port is conducted. By the time the cargo is loaded or unloaded and paperwork is all done, the ship is once again ready to set sail heading towards its next destination.
What challenges must be overcome when using bunkers?
The main challenge is to set everything up on time and plan accordingly. Professionals who do the bunkering must be familiarized with the vessel that’s coming into the port and thus have to prepare and deliver the right type of fuel or oil as well as other necessities. The entire logistic plan must, therefore, be flawless to avoid any unnecessary delays. Moreover, everything must be done in compliance with the port rules and regulations to avoid breach of contract or other inconveniences. These could not only potentially delay the process, but they could also cause numerous other issues.
How are bunkers used on large vessels and cargo ships?
Bunkers can be supplied to the ship either in port or on sea, depending on the agreement that was previously made. Bunkers or lube oil and fuel used in operating machinery on a cargo ship, for instance, are either stored on a ship or poured into the ship’s tanks by a team of specialists. Various vehicles ranging from trucks to barges can deliver bunkers to vessels deepening on the location where bunkering is taking place.
Bunkering a cargo ship means something entirely different than what it sounds like. It’s, in fact, quite a delicate procedure that will supply the ship with oils and fuel and it needs to be conducted accurately to avoid any potential hazards.