Cargill and Maersk Tankers are aiming to unlock more competitive and transparent bunker pricing and improved customer service through a new strategic partnership combining their bunker volumes, offering 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 will 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. We can therefore focus on providing transparency, robust benchmarking, and a modern and digital customer experience,” said Olivier Josse, Head of Tankers and Marine Fuel at Cargill Ocean Transportation.
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. With our new bunker procurement service, we want to make their lives easier,” says Claus Gronborg, Chief Investment Officer at Maersk Tankers. “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.”
The companies noted that the new bunker service will provide unique access to future marine fuels, including Cargill’s growing internal biodiesel business, as the maritime industry transitions toward carbon-neutral to meet the IMO’s target to reduce GHG by 50% by 2050.
This partnership follows a series of collaborations between Cargill and Maersk Tankers. In 2019, the companies 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.