The transition to the IMO 2020 fuel emissions deadline will not be pretty and shipping won’t need to wait until 1 January to discover that, a leading operations manager says.

Andrew Smiley, vice president of shipping for Koch Supply & Trading, told an audience at Heidmar’s annual Marine Forum in Houston last week that owner-operators seeking to get a jump on the trans­ition to distillates will clash with traders and charterers who want to keep using high-­sulphur bunkers for as long as possible.