The superyacht fuel-purchasing app, bunker buoy, first launched in 2013 has undergone a radical rethink. Originally created as a digital intermediary between fuel purchaser and fuel trader/broker, the traders and brokers have now been cut out of the picture. With immediate effect bunker buoy will now serve as a direct link between captains, management companies and yacht brokers to the physical fuel supplier.

18 months down the line and ‘Head Buoy’ Neil Miller believes that bunker buoy has succeeded in doing what it set out to do, that is, remove the time consumption and opacity from fuel transactions as well as provide good quality fuel with price comparisons and transaction histories. It does then seem that the logical next step was to remove the fuel traders and further reduce time and cost whilst simultaneously improving transparency.

Neil Miller, founder of bunker buoy explained: “After a lot of consultation with yacht captains, management companies and owners, we have decided that bunker buoy will only be inviting physical fuel suppliers on to the platform with immediate effect. It is the same bunker buoy - but the new and improved Version 3 with flexibility, including a browser version so it operates across all platforms.”

Version 3, as well as welcoming a new supply chain also comes with a new messenger system. Similar in style to WhatsApp and other instant chat portals, the new system allows captains and other key decision makers to have fluent direct access to the fuel supplier without needing to make time consuming phone calls. The new platform also allows the fuel specifications to be attached for viewing.

“The global fuel trader has dominated the [market] space for some time now, but the demand from the yacht captains and managers has now turned towards dealing directly with the physical supplier.” Miller continues, “There is obviously a place for the fuel trader and some yachts may prefer to use a trader, regardless of the cost saving.”

bunker buoy is now being used as a white label service - operating under user company names - for Y.CO and is currently in discussion with a number of other management companies, more information is to be released on this soon. When asked what the initial response from the market has been Miller responded, “positive from the yachts, negative from the traders.”

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