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|Title: ||The rationale behind and effects of Bunker Adjustment Factors|
Dong-Hua Wang;Chung-Ching Chen;Cheng-Sheng Lai
|Contributors: ||NTOU:Department of Shipping and Transportation Management|
|Keywords: ||Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF);Bunker surcharge;Regulation 4056/86;All-inclusive (all-in) freight rate;No-gain–no-loss|
|Issue Date: ||2011-10-20T08:33:36Z
|Publisher: ||Journal of Transport Geography|
|Abstract: ||Abstract:The Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) system was first introduced following the oil shocks of the 1970s. The underlying justification for such a system was that shipping lines operating in freight conferences could not otherwise adjust their prices promptly enough to counteract the devastating effect of bunker price increases. Thirty years after its imposition, BAF has always been a bone of contention between carriers and shippers. Ocean carriers contend that it is a necessary evil to reduce their exposure to volatile bunker price, while shippers argue that this risk should either be considered as a normal commercial venture, or dealt with in a more transparent way. When bunker surcharges began to climb in 2003, BAF disputes became one of the main obstacles to the dialog between both parties. To settle the dispute over BAF, the Europe Commission (EC) called for the submission on the issue of surcharges.
The European Commission banned carrier conferences on October 17th 2008. The shipping lines now set their own independent BAF rates, which are closely monitored by the EC to ensure no collusion. The fluctuation in oil price in 2008 means that the BAF rates are now coming down, but there are still some wide variations in application. During this period of dramatic change in shipping environment, it has become important to provide a theoretical framework for analyzing the BAF. This paper focuses on examining the rationale behind and effects of BAF. A microeconomic model is made to explore the underlying mechanism of BAF. By examining the trade routes of Asia to Europe and Asia to North America during the period 2003–2008, this study finds the practice of BAF cushions an ocean carrier from the negative effects of bunker price fluctuations, and provides shipping lines a powerful tool to change the incentive structure facing carriers. Despite engineers showing that reducing the speed of vessels can economize fuel consumption evidence shows there has been little change by major shipping lines in their transit time and sailing schedules during the recent period of skyrocketing fuel price. It is apparent they use the BAF as the cushion against the effect of rising bunker prices.
|Relation: ||the paper is forthcoming|
|Appears in Collections:||[航運管理學系] 期刊論文|
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