Operational Intervention Quality, quantity, time loss, spillage, leakage, and overflow are important elements to consider during physical bunker replenishment operations. If we generalize all spillage, leakage and overflow as spills, these types of incidents are the primary source of petroleum pollution from ships.


Experience has shown that most bunker spills, leakage and overflow are caused by human error. All fuel replenishment operations should be carefully planned and completed in accordance with MARPOL regulations. In particular, the pollution caused by Fuel Oil is harmful and difficult to clean up.

The responsible personnel should not be distracted by any other work and should not leave their duties during topping-off. This is extremely important in order to prevent conflicts between fuel and cargo personnel during the simultaneous loading of bunker and cargo on the ship. Spills often occur as a result of personnel being distracted by other tasks.


Companies should demand that all fuel replenishment operations be carried out in accordance with the procedures of the ship’s Safety Management System and in a controlled manner. They should ensure that the risks associated with the operation have been reviewed and controls are in place to minimize them. In the event of a spill, essential and immediate measures should be known and implemented immediately.


When determining the procedures to be followed during bunker replenishment operations, the following elements should be considered:


  • Determining the availability of sufficient space for the volume of product to be loaded.
  • Determining the maximum loading capacity for all tanks.
  • Checking the valve settings of the bunker system.
  • Determining the loading ratios for Start of, Bulk and Topping-off.
  • Taking special precautions when loading double bottom tanks.
  • Checking the ventilation arrangements of the bunker tank.
  • Determining the overflow arrangements for internal tanks.
  • Ensuring that the measurement system is functioning and accurate.
  • Checking the alarm settings for overflow.
  • Communicating with the terminal when the replenishment can be carried out.
  • Obtaining information on the replenishment application, quality and quantity before starting the replenishment.
  • Checking the quality and quantity of the replenishment products during the replenishment.
  • Rechecking the quantity of the replenishment products and their accuracy after replenishment.

By taking these elements into account, bunker replenishment operations can be effectively managed to prevent spills, leakage and overflow caused by human error. In this way, petroleum pollution can be prevented and the protection of the environment and marine life can be ensured. Therefore, all companies should attach importance to the safe and controlled bunker replenishment operations and ensure that these operations are effectively managed.

Logistics Support

The main goal for the ship owner, charterer, or operator is to obtain fuel and oil at the lowest cost and optimize all costs. The location of the replenishment directly affects the business costs. The habit of using the same fuel replenishment point can lead to overlooking other options and economic losses due to the wrong choice of fuel replenishment location. In addition, time loss is a derivative disadvantage that affects costs. The wrong selection of the replenishment location causes time and money losses. The rules, conditions, and performance of replenishment are not the same everywhere. The replenishment locations should be updated.


It is also important to make the right decision about the amount of product to be replenished. An insufficient or excessive replenished product is a significant cost. It is as unnecessary to have difficulties in reaching the discharge port due to insufficient product as it is unnecessary to have financial difficulties and pay for excess product, and to have less cargo on the ship and therefore less freight revenue. Bunkerist provides guidance on the most appropriate replenishment location by considering all options on the ship’s route. The buyer’s interests are reminded and discussed in terms of the amount and credit of the replenishment to be made. All matters are reviewed together and a target is set. Carrying fuel instead of cargo and filling credit limits with excess fuel does not contribute to the buyer’s risk management plans and subsequent decisions.


Risk management


Risk is an event or situation that may have a positive or negative impact on the goals of a project, the outcome of which is uncertain if it occurs. Risk is inherent in any project, and project managers must constantly evaluate and plan to mitigate risks. Risk management involves activities such as identifying and evaluating risks, prioritizing them, minimizing the economic use of resources, controlling the likelihood and/or impact of unfortunate events, and maximizing the likelihood of opportunities.


A risk management plan identifies and analyzes the potential impacts of risks. Therefore, risk management plans should maintain their effectiveness and reflect potential risks. Therefore, they should be frequently analyzed by the project team and reviewed periodically. In accordance with international laws, rules, and professional practices, and in accordance with ethical rules, Bunkerist will commit to providing any information, experience, report, analysis, or legal support that it believes will contribute to the risk management of the relevant party.