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Maersk Tankers Launches New Digital Business Venture

Mike Schuler
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January 7, 2020

Photo courtesy Maersk Tankers

Maersk Tankers has announced the launching it a new standalone digital business that will help reduce carbon emissions and increase earnings for customers in the tramp shipping industry.

The still un-named business unit will develop and sell the software product SimBunker to vessel owners and managers in the tramp shipping industry to help them use their vessels more efficiently. Tramp shipping is characterized by vessels that are engaged in the spot market with no fixed schedule or itinerary. 

Maersk Tankers says the new venture, launching today, will help reduce CO2 emissions in support of the shipping industry’s on-going efforts towards sustainability and increase earnings.

According to Maersk, SimBunker optimizes vessels’ bunker spend, which can account for up to 60 percent of the total voyage costs, by determining optimal solutions for factors such as speed, bunker purchase and route. The software product was developed within Maersk Tankers and will now be spun off into the new digital business, along with its related customer base, Maersk said.

Maersk Tankers has been working on expanding its digital strategy since 2016 through the forming strategic digital partnerships and alliances. This new spin-off is direct result of this effort over the past several years, Maersk says.

“Through significant and strategic investment, we have established Maersk Tankers as the digital frontrunner in the tanker industry,” said Christian Ingerslev, CEO of Maersk Tankers. “Digitization will enhance customer and partner experience, transform our business and contribute to a more efficient operation, benefitting both sustainability and profitability. This becomes increasingly important at a time when the shipping industry must adapt to take its share in solving complex challenges posed by climate change and new regulatory requirements. With the new set-up, we will be able to accelerate our digital strategy.”

With the SimBunker spin-off, the software product will be the sole focus of a dedicated team and management. The team will be built around employees from the existing Maersk Tankers Digital team, as well as new-hires. The new business will be led by Soren C. Meyer, who previously held the position of Chief Asset Officer of Maersk Tankers. Meyer will continue to report Ingerslev until further notice, Maersk said.

“The shipping industry has an enormous potential for digitisation, especially in commercial and technical areas,” said Meyer. “As a standalone business, we will be able to accelerate this development. We will be working with players across the industry to optimise pool partners’ bunker spend, using large data sets and analytics. We are confident that such collaboration and digital measures are instrumental in putting the industry on a path to greener growth. I am truly excited about the ambition of the new business and the task ahead.”

Peter Schroder, Chief Digital Officer of Maersk Tankers, will continue lead Maersk Tankers’ digital team in-house to develop new and existing products.

“We are today leading one of the most exciting transformations in the industry,” said Schroder. “We will retain and continue investing in digital competencies and expertise within Maersk Tankers. With this, we will further strengthen the company’s competitive advantage and differentiation in the industry. This entails maturing existing digital products and incubating new ideas. The priority will be given to products that lower CO2 emissions, increase earnings for partners and make it easier for them to do business with us, as well as to products that increase our ability to meet customer demand by having vessels in the right position at the right time.”

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