Why do Shipping Companies Use Heavy Fuel Oil?

Because HFO is the waste product of the crude oil refining process, it is relatively cheap, especially for larger vessels such as tankers, bulk carriers and container ships.[1] For example, while oil prices can change quickly, the price of a ton of HFO in October of 2016 was approximately $290.00 USD, while a ton of distillate fuel was $516.00 USD.[2]

[1] Deere-Jones, T., Ecological, Economic and Social Impacts of Marine/Coastal Spills of Fuel Oils (Refinery Residuals), at 6 (2016).

[2] Ship and Bunker Prices, October 18, 2016, available at http://shipandbunker.com/prices/av.