Maersk Tankers has entered a strategic partnership with one of the world’s largest vessel charterers, agribusiness giant Cargill, that will see the two companies combine their bunker volumes.
They will offer a new bunker procurement service to tramp shipping companies and trading houses. The initial goal is to procure bunker fuel for Cargill and Maersk Tankers’ combined fleet, while aiming to attract additional customers in the coming months.
The service will leverage Cargill’s in-house bunker expertise and Maersk Tankers’ commercial and operational capabilities and will launch on April 1, 2021.
Cargill currently charters a fleet of around 700 vessels and procures 2.5 million tons of marine fuel per year. Maersk Tankers will add the volume stemming from its commercially managed fleet of more than 220 product tankers, increasing the joint annual bunker volume to 3.5 million tons.
The increased scale and one voice approach is intended to give access to better prices and services, leveraging relationships with key suppliers in the world’s busiest bunkering hubs to ensure optimal service and bunker premiums.
“As independent bunker consumers with no physical oil activity or bunker assets, there will be no conflicts of interest,” said Olivier Josse, Head of Tankers and Marine Fuel at Cargill Ocean Transportation. “We can therefore focus on providing transparency, robust benchmarking, and a modern and digital customer experience. We are excited to collaborate with Maersk Tankers and together we have ambitious plans to become a unique provider of bunker solutions.”
The new one-stop-shop will give customers enhanced access to market information, optimization of bunker logistics, and improved claims support.
By digitizing, centralizing and analyzing the large amount of available data, the service will offer increased reactivity to market conditions and refined views on short and mid-term price outlook.
“Tramp shipping companies face challenges today in a bunker market that is becoming increasingly complex,” says Claus Gronborg, Chief Investment Officer at Maersk Tankers. “With our new bunker procurement service, we want to make their lives easier.
“Through our scale, they will get access to bunker fuel at competitive prices, while getting an experienced partner that will navigate the bunker market on their behalf. We are excited to venture into this together with Cargill and utilize our combined expertise to provide this new solution to both our pool partners and other shipowners and operators.”
As the maritime industry transitions towards carbon-neutral to meet the IMO’s target to reduce GHG by 50% by 2050, the bunker market will go through a radical transformation.
Cargill and Maersk Tankers are united in their firm commitment to accelerate decarbonization and are building expertise in the use of new fuels and technologies. The new bunker service will provide unique access to future marine fuels, including Cargill’s growing internal biodiesel business.
This partnership follows a series of strategic collaborations between Cargill and Maersk Tankers.
In 2019, Cargill and Maersk Tankers created a joint MR tankers pool and launched Project Njord with Mitsui & Co to bring turn-key energy-saving solutions to the market. Last year, Cargill became a strategic investor in ZeroNorth, a tech start-up focusing on vessel performance optimization and decarbonization founded by Maersk Tankers.