Manage fuel

Goundar Shipping says managing fuel is priority for any shipowner because a huge chunk of operation costs is spent on fuel.

Goundar Shipping owner George Subarmani Goundar says operating a passenger vessel demands good judgement and fuel cost plays a huge role.

“Fuel cost is about 83 per cent of my operating cost alone,” said Mr Goundar. He said fuel costs about $1.80 a litre which was expensive and tough for his shipping business.

“Any shipping company knows that to operate a shipping business you got to manage your fuel and that’s what we’ve been doing, managing fuel and keeping the speed of the vessel at a minimum so that we could manage the fuel costs of our vessels,” he said.

“We can’t do much about fuel costs. It’s huge and it is regulated by the government. It goes up, goes down and now it’s creeping up again. So we can’t do much about the fuel cost but we’re hoping the government looks into it and subsidising this industry a bit more would be welcomed.

The bus companies have their exemptions and they don’t pay VAT on the passengers they carry. I hope the government can do the same for us shipping companies. Just like buses, we operate and carry passengers but at sea and they carry passengers ashore. So my hope is as we have voted for this new government, they can look into that.”

As of last month, Goundar Shipping switched over from Total to Mobil as their major fuel supplier.

“We’ve been with Total for the past three years and this month we’ve switched over to Mobil as one of the major suppliers of our fuel because they’ve given a better, I would say a better concession on fuel for us from what we used to get from Total.

We’ve had a mishap with Total but we are in the process of negotiating on how we are going to resolve this problem.”

Total was a once major fuel supplier for the company for the past three years.