Credit managers in the bunkering industry perform their duties differently from their peers at major banks who offer credit through a lengthy process, says an industry player.
"For bunkers, it is a bit different," Christopher Stephen Morgan, regional credit manager at marine fuels firm Monjasa DMCC, told delegates at RESCON in Dubai.
"The enquiry might come 24/7, 365 days per year, and you may need to give an answer in five minutes or less as the trader has tight validity on prices and is in a big hurry to offer."
According to Morgan, credit managers at bunkering firms often approve credit far greater than most mortgages.
"You might borrow $250,000 for a mortgage, but ten times this much for a large bunker stem," he notes.
Further, Morgan mentioned it is common for his peers in credit management not to have any access to financial information of any kind when assessing private bunkering firms.
"Even if you do have financials, they are often very out-of-date," he explains.
"You will have very little insight into the people behind the company, unless you know them personally."
Meanwhile, Morgan also highlighted that credit managers at bunkering firms sometimes need to forgo deposits, when dealing with terms that do cover cash in advance or post-dated cheque.
"It is common for poorly-performing customers with lengthy delays and even ones with defaults to be highly competitive and still be able to command good prices," he notes.
Morgan estimated a total of 35 dedicated, credit managers globally working in the bunker industry, who between them control credit for over 75% of all back-to-back, traded deals worldwide.