In an effort to enable more competitive and transparent pricing, Cargill and Maersk Tankers will combine their bunker volumes, and launch a new bunker procurement service for tramp shipping companies and trading houses. While the initial goal is to procure bunker fuel for Cargill and Maersk Tankers’ combined fleet, the service which launches April is also aiming to attract additional customers.
Combined the two companies currently use approximately 3.5 million tons of bunker fuel annually. Cargill, which currently charters a fleet of around 700 vessels using 2.5 million tons of marine fuel per year, will leverage its in-house bunker expertise, while Maersk Tankers, which purchases about 1 million tons per year for its commercially managed fleet of more than 220 product tankers, has commercial and operational capabilities.
According to the two companies, 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, we can 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. “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 the companies said 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. “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.”
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.