IMO 2020 has gone fairly smoothly so far for big fleet operators that prepared methodically for the switch to lower-sulphur fuels, but most still expect issues to arise in time.

“Most of the vessels in our fleet have switched over to the compliant fuels well in advance of the transition date,” said Frank Coles, chief executive of shipmanager Wallem Group. “And so far, there has not been any noticeable increase in the technical issues.”

But he believes problems with the specifications of blended fuels could haunt the industry.