Source: OPEC, World Oil Outlook.
The location of bunkering activity is highly conditioned by geography with two patterns emerging:
- Major gateways (centrality). Ships calling at a major port gateway have an opportunity to refuel. Ports such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles / Long Beach are each major diversified commercial gateways experiencing a large number of ship calls.
- Intermediate locations (intermediacy). Locations in the vicinity of major bottlenecks in the global shipping network, such as the Strait of Malacca (Singapore), Ormuz (Fujairah), Gibraltar (Algeciras and Gibraltar), and Panama are active bunkering markets. The proximity effect allows ships passing by or calling at a transshipment hub to refuel.