CARGILL and Maersk Tankers announced a strategic partnership to combine 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. The service will leverage Cargill’s in-house bunker expertise and Maersk Tankers’ commercial and operational capabilities and will launch on 1 April.

Cargill currently charters a fleet of about 700 vessels and procures 2.5 million tonnes 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 tonnes. 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.

Cargill Ocean Transportation head of tankers and marine fuel Olivier Josse said 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,” Mr Josse said.

“We are excited to collaborate with Maersk Tankers and together we have ambitious plans to become a unique provider of bunker solutions.” 

The companies said the new partnership will give customers enhanced access to market information, optimisation of bunker logistics, and improved claims support. The companies said by digitising, centralising and analysing 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.

Maersk Tankers chief investment officer Claus Gronborg said 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,” Mr Gronborg said.

“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.”