About Maersk Group

The Maersk Group consists of a collection of companies operating within two main industries of shipping and energy. Maersk Group has four core businesses which include Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling. Through these companies and several others, the group employs roughly 89,000 people.

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    Building the perfect terminal


    From computer-simulated design trials to fully automated cranes that learn and communicate, APM Terminals’ new container terminal in Maasvlakte II in the Port of Rotterdam is being built and operated with data. 

    Rik Geurtsen has a pretty good idea of what Maasvlakte II (MVII) will be capable of once it opens for business on 1 November. He has already seen it in action – and dozens of versions of it – on a computer screen. 

    We started with the productivity target and other factors we knew like vessel size and vessel type that would call at the terminal as well as expected delays, and from there we can play around with yard layouts and different equipment,” says Geurtsen, Senior Project Manager for Operations at the new terminal. 

    Computer simulations were carried out over the last six years by a specialist company, which allowed APM Terminals to test the integrity of the fully automated concept in a variety of scenarios in a realistic peak-type work situation. 

    “Without simulations, we would only have our assumptions. It gives us a way to see how it performs before we begin an expensive and time-consuming construction,” says Geurtsen. “Of course, it cannot  be made perfect on a computer, but it gives us a necessary degree of confidence in the design.” 

    imageIf productivity slows during the day at a typical terminal, multiple factors could be involved, from equipment problems, changes in vessel schedules to human crane drivers stopping to open a soft drink or tie a shoelace.

    That is a far smaller problem here. The 27 rail-mounted gantry cranes and their smaller assistants, the 36 steel-bed-like vehicles that carry containers between the ship and yard, are equipped with GPS and Transponder-based tracking, and the ongoing communication between the machines and computer systems is logged.

    “We have all the data. With constant location and operational instructions-related data streaming between the machines and our systems, we have the granularity and transparency to get to the root of any problem,” says William Rengelink, Technical Integration Manager for the project.

    Sifting through terebytes 

    And all of that back and forth communication will be stored in two nearby data centres, each the size of a large meeting room, consisting of eight server racks. This a is a treasure trove  for the future Process Excellence department, and the project team of 40 operations and IT specialists. With it they will be able to work their way through every performance failure that happens every day to find the cause. 

    For example, if a crane waits ten seconds for an AGV, it is ten seconds of unproductive activity. Why was it late? Was it due to a system issue or was the stacking not optimal?


    "Having all the data doesn’t mean it’s going to be easier to get high performance from the terminal but it does make it easier to identify the causes of poor performance,” says Rengelink.

    “Improving it from there is a different challenge because we may have to fix sys- tems or reprogramme a vehicle or interview a crane operator or all of the above. But no doubt having the data gives us a huge advantage for reaching our targets.” 

    Posted on Friday, August 1st 2014

    Tags APM terminals maasvlakte rotterdam productivity technology computer simulations cranes

    Going Paperless


    Maersk Line in Vietnam leads the local industry on e-saviness. General Director Bich Nyugen believes that increasing productivity through technological transfer for companies is a major way of boosting Vietnam’s competitiveness. 

    Each day, as thousands of containers are shipped back and forth by Maersk Line between Vietnam and the world, an unseen and even larger number of trans-actions are happening online. From documents to invoices and customs declara- tions, the ‘e-paperwork’ is endless.

    But thanks to automated systems, acuracy, transparency and visbility of data can now be done in less than ten minutes (a booking that previously would have taken two hours). APL Logistics is a client of Maersk Line in Vietnam, and Export Team Leader Nguyen Francra Ninh says that she remembered that it took around two working hours or more to receive booking confirmation last year.

    “Now it’s just five minutes for book- ing confirmation or 30 minutes at most,” Nguyen Francra Ninh says.

    Last year, Maersk Line Vietnam shipped 9,412 FEU (forty-foot equivalent units) for this client.

    In 2002, Maersk Line Vietnam began streamlining its e-booking, e-documentation, e-tracking and most other customer transactions. Paperless transactions have allowed for a move away from complex manual processes, focusing instead on im- proving customer experience. Maersk Line also recently conducted a local customer survey, which found that seven out of ten clients strongly believe that e-commerce is important to their businesses.

    General Director of Maersk Line Vietnam and Cambodia, Bich Nguen, says Maersk saw the trend towards e-solutions and its sweeping benefits many years ago.


    ”And we knew it would transform not just the shipping industry, but also the business world, which is why we stayed ahead of the game with company-wide e-solutions practices before any of our competitors.”

    A trend towards e-solutions

    Vietnam’s internet penetration is high, relative to its urban population. Of Vietnam’s 90 million population, 36% use the Internet, and 32% live in urban areas. In line with these demographics are the findings of the Vietnam E-commerce Report, which found that the country’s e-commerce industry is booming, where 100% of business and enterprise survey respondents use Internet and  email for work, and 65% had specialised e-commerce staff.

    What all this implies for Maersk Line is that clients with local offices here are well aware of its competitive edge when it comes to e-solutions offered in its services.

    Nguyen Trang from Panalpina’s Europe documentation team for the European sector says: “it’s very impressive to see the improvement that Maersk Line has had in sending the bill draft to us, due to their faster system. It takes just around one hour, a very far cry from other carriers that require about half a day to do the same.” 

    “This fast service provides our customers with extra time to settle other matters pertaining to their shipments,” Trang adds.


    Fewer mistakes

    Maersk Line’s Bich Nguyen says: “E- solutions mean less time, fewer mistakes and less, if not zero, additional costs being incurred due to documentation errors. As Vietnam seeks to compete in the world economy and trade in higher value-added goods under just-in-time productions, transaction speed and reliability of service will be key.”

    She sums up as follows: “For businesses on the whole, e-solutions mean more opportunities, including increased productivity and savings, thereby attracting more investments. This is an exciting time for Vietnam if we focus on the right methods for driving competitiveness.” 

    By Tan Ti Hui for the Maersk Post

    Posted on Wednesday, July 30th 2014

    Tags Maersk Line technology e-saviness productivity competitiveness automation logistics

    The Data Drive


    The mountain of data being generated in today’s digital world could transform the way Maersk Group does business – the question is how to use it? 

    In Mumbai, Domingos dos Reis Silva Jr monitors a world map projected onto a giant screen. He is watching the progress of hundreds of blue and red dots, each pinpointing the exact location of a Maersk Line vessel as it goes about its voyage.

    Domingos heads Maersk Line’s Global Voyage Centre, where a team of senior seafarers monitor 200 ships, 24 hours a day, seven-days a week. “We have access to the same navigational aids as on board so all the information is at our fingertips. It means we get real-time updates on the ship’s position, speed, direction and even the weather conditions.”

    The flow of real-time data means immediate action can be taken when something doesn’t go to plan. “The voyage plan for each ship before setting off is compared to the best in class in our database. Our role is to ensure it keeps to the plan and to pick up on deviations. Effective communication with the crews means we support them in executing the most efficient and economical voyage.”

    An alarm sounds indicating that Emma Mærsk in the North Sea is five knots above her planned speed, and an immediate investigation is made to find out why. The team deals with around 7,000 of these alarms every month. “We also monitor global natural incidents,” says Domingos. “When an earthquake triggered a tsunami warning in Chile, our interaction with ships sailing in the region began less than an hour after the incident.”

    Such close monitoring helped Maersk Line save USD 8.5 million in bunker fuel costs last year, as well as providing valuable support for the safety of crews on board. 

    The power of data

    It’s just one example of how smart data use is transforming the way Maersk Group does business. In today’s digital world, where everything is connected via the internet; and every action leaves an online trail, a mountain of data is generated every day that could be used to make critical business decisions. 


    Jasper Boessenkool, Head of Strategic R&D, Maersk Maritime Technology says cutting bunker bills could be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of data use. “New developments in sensor technology and analytics mean decisions can be made based on data coming directly from the ships.

    There are lots of areas where we could improve performance – the dialogue between the ship and the terminals for example. The worst things is when a ship has to wait in a terminal, then speed up to meet its schedule. That causes waste beyond imagination because it costs so much in fuel.”

    Smarter maintenance

    The huge expense faced by the Group in maintaining its assets, means a great deal of excitement about how data could be used to shave down these costs.

    “When you design a ship, an engine or a rig, you make assessments in terms of  when to maintain or upgrade on a fairly fixed time schedule,” says Boessenkool.

    "But our ability to gather and monitor data today could pave the way for a completely new kind of maintenance management system.” 

    This could have major implications in the oil industry where maintenance costs rapidly mount up. Frederik Smidth, Chief Technical Officer at Maersk Drilling estimates the total cost of maintaining a drill- ship over a 20-year lifespan to be around USD 750 million. The annual upkeep is USD 15 million in hardware plus maintenance hours. Then every five years there’s a yard stay which could cost USD 70 million, plus two months of downtime worth USD 30 million. If we could cut even 10% off these costs, we are looking at something very interesting.” 

    Oil wells must also be shut down periodically for maintenance and New developments in sensor technology and analytics mean decisions can be made based on data coming directly from the ships.. It’s very costly,” says Henrik Tirsgaard, Head of Corporate Technology & Innovation at Maersk Oil. “Say the well produces 4,000 barrels of oil per day, if each barrel is USD 100 that’s USD 400,000 lost per day.”

    “Having a ‘real-time’ information flow could make us better placed to make decisions on when to upgrade equipment and potentially save a lot of money. One idea is to measure corrosion using acoustic signals. Combined with other parameters such as salinity of the produced water we could create a more accurate picture of when equipment needs changing.”

    Sweating the assets

    Using data in this way is all about “sweating the assets,” says Boessenkool. “It means squeezing the maximum out of the millions of dollars we have tied up in very costly, heavy assets. Being a big operator gives us a major advantage in terms of data available to us. If you only have two ships, you only have so much data. If you operate 800 ships, you have data you can apply on a completely different scale.”

    In fact, Boessenkool believes the data generated by the Group is so valuable it should be treated as an asset in itself.

    “We need to look at data and take care of it in the same way we do an asset such as a ship or a drilling rig. I think we are just beginning to discover what data can do for us.

    The question now is how we experiment with it, find the potential, prove the value and use our knowledge across the Group to share that journey.” 


    Big data is watching you

    But while the potential of ‘big data’ might appear limitless, implementing it has its challenges. “Asking people to make decisions less on gut feeling and experience, and more on pure data analysis, means a significant cultural shift. Suddenly you change how people work,” says Tirsgaard.

    “Monitoring and measuring every action through data acquisition has a ‘Big Brother’ feel to it. But it should be used for learning and not blaming.”

    Back in the Global Voyage Centre, Domingos admits there was some resistance when monitoring first began. The captains called us ‘Big Brother’. But now they understand the value of what we do and we work together as one team.”

    While data can help in decision-making, it doesn’t take away the human factor, he says. “We never make decisions for the captains. We are here to support, but it’s always the captains responsibility to make the final command at sea,

    By Monika Canty featured in the Maersk Post

    Posted on Thursday, July 24th 2014

    Tags maersk line technology

    Sheep’s wool… a big break for oil cleaning


    GreenOil worked with Maersk Line to develop an oil filter, which after proving its worth, is being installed on the Triple-E vessels. Sheep’s wool is now poised for commercial success. 

    "We needed a partner to test our prototype. Maersk Line did that and gave us feedback, and that has helped us win a market-leading position,” says CEO at GreenOil, Hans Lund.

    We were familiar with this type of system but we want to be challenged and were keen to be part of the process. The easiest thing is to continue doing what we’ve always done, but we want to keep improving,” says Jeppe Storm, Fleet Superintendent at Maersk Line. 

    Storm and Lund have worked together for a long time. The partnership which began in 2007 between GreenOil, a small Danish engineering company, and Maersk Line has reached a preliminary high point, as GreenOil’s oil filters are now being installed on all Triple-E vessels.

    Developing the product, GreenOil discovered that sheep’s wool made an extremely good filter because it has a rougher surface than the synthetic fibre commonly used for filters, thus enhancing its filtering ability. Nobody else used it. When looking to remove the water from the oil, they also found a new approach which involved heating only the water and not the oil, cutting energy consumption drastically. They took out a patent on the latter.


    Working with Maersk Line has made the process faster and more direct, because they have a level of knowledge and facilities that few others can match. We have been able to inspire each other and I hope it does not end here. We want to continue developing the products further and meet the demand of the industry in coming years,” Hans Lund says. 

    Less Maintenance

    When GreenOil was established ten years ago, the mission was to make a better offline oil filter for vessels, first removing particles and then water from the oil, making the oil almost as good as new.

    The principle is simple: any piece of machinery has moving parts. Oil helps them to move properly. In addition to the main engine, a vessel has many smaller oil reservoirs, e.g. for the steering mechanism, gearboxes and hydraulic cranes – up to 15 on large container vessels. Instead of changing the oil every so often, an offline oil filter that runs independently of the machine can keep the oil clean, thus avoiding unnecessary wear.

    The offline system runs its own cycle, cleaning the oil around the clock. Even if the machine, such as a crane on a vessel, is only in use every 14 days, its oil is kept clean and effective.  

    This means less frequent oil changes, and more importantly an extended lifetime of the essential components in the machinery. 

    We put offline filters on the cranes on the WAFMAX vessels after they had been in service for a year, and the number of particles in the oil dropped dramatically. Of course, those vessels call at West African ports where there are not many options for service, and so this will surely increase reliability,” Storm says. 

    By Anders Rosendahl for the Maersk Post

    Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd 2014

    Tags Maersk Line wool sheep

    Maersk’s youngest employee?


    Recently promoted to Operations Manager at the Paranaguá Inland Services in Brazil, Ederson Gouveia has, at the age of 29, already spent half of his life with Maersk. He joined the Group when he was 14 years old as an apprentice. 

    Mario Augusto Veraldo, Cluster Manager for Maersk Line, was one of the first in the company who noticed the young Ederson Gouveia. "What impressed me was his abilty to acquire information and put it to good use in his work,” Veraldo says.

    Though English language classes were usually reserved for employees of the company, Veraldo encouraged Gouveia and his managers so that Gouveia could be a part of the programme before he was hired.Being able to attend those classes added to Gouveia’s determination and commitment to his duties.

    Despite his young age, colleagues and managers from the Maersk Line office in Santos City in Brazil noticed his hard work and determination, and what began as a two-year apprenticeship eventually stretched to a 15-year engagement. 

    Starting out as an apprentice

    When he was 14 Gouveia was able to join Sealand, which would later be acquired by Maersk, through a non-government organisation called Círculo de Amigos do Menor Patrulheiro de Guaruja (CAMPG) that helps young Brazilians enter the labour market through training and apprenticeships.

    Just as his apprenticeship ended in 2001, Gouveia’s initiative and natural interest in computers took over. “My apprenticeship ended at a crucial moment when Maersk Line had just started to integrate their systems with Inland Services in the Santos Port. I learned a lot about key systems for operations which quickly helped me to become a ‘super user’. This led to employment options later on.”

    When asked how he acquired such a well-developed work ethic at such an early age, Gouveia speaks highly of his parents.

    "They did everything they could to in order to take care of me,” he says.

    His mother was instrumental in his computer training. Upon learning of her son’s interest in computers, she took on an extra days work every week to help pay for a computer course.

    “When I look back, I realise that they were always trying to teach me something, sometimes with no words, only attitude,” he says.

    Paying it forward

    Now a manager, Gouveia sees his role as yet another opportunity to pay back the chances he was given along the way. This time, it will be him urging his team to live out their potential. 

    Posted on Thursday, July 17th 2014

    Tags brazil Maersk Line maersk people employees apprentice maersk careers

    SVITZER’s initiatives to ensure the highest levels of safety


    At Svitzer, the safety of employees has always been an integral part of doing business, but after a tragic event in 2012 which claimed the lives of seven people, Svitzer decided to take a new approach to take safety to a higher level.

    For the first time, more than 100 operations will have one common safety management system. This risk-based system uses checklists and leverages modern technology such as the use of tablets to help crews manage safety in a simple and effective way.

    While this is being deployed, management and safety teams focus on being visible in the field. Svitzer held its first global Safety Day, emphasising management commitment and two-way communication, followed by guidance and coaching on safety awareness and carrying out comprehensive risk-based audits through the year. With this focus, Svitzer achieved a 50% reduction in the number of lost-time injuries, compared to 2012. Take a look at our videos on safety that we created for this year’s safety day here.

    A hi-tech, low complexity safety solution

    Svitzeris highly decentralised. Almost every one of its
 110 entities is used to operating independently, even in their approach to safety. Since the tragic incident in 2012, it became evident to the Svitzer leadership team that they would have to change the company’s operating model and approach to safety. The team decided to harmonise safety standards across the many independent entities by implementing a risk-based safety management system across all operations.


    At first, the risks of each and every service were re-evaluated, ranging from oil and gas terminal maintenance, piloting in ports and navigating in ice. Taking inspiration from the airline industry, risk-based checklists were developed to remind employees of the hazards they face in their day-to-day operations and how to manage them well.

    Called the Harmonised Management System, PC, tablet and web versions with the new safety procedures and risk checklists will be installed on all tugs in the fleet to help seafarers and office staff manage safety in a simple and smart way, and ease safety communication within the company. 

    For more insights into our activities around safety then check out our website here and our Facebook page here.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 15th 2014

    Tags Svitzer safety solutions technology Harmonised Management System Safety day

    Reliable sourcing in India for retail and apparel customers


    Speed and agility – the key to getting fashion products out of India on time

    India is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most important centres for sourcing apparel, accessories and other fashion products. Many big name brands are already producing here. Due to the large number of garment export factories that can comply with international standards nowadays, the country has seen a steady growth of its apparel exports. However, issues such as poor infrastructure, climatic conditions, social instability and irregular government practices can negate many of the advantages of sourcing in India. For fashion products, time to market is critical: a delay of two weeks can make an item worthless for retailers. Speed and agility are therefore essential for successful sourcing in India.

    Monsoons, strikes and inadequate infrastructure

    Infrastructural developments in India, in particular around ports and the surrounding regions, have not kept pace with the rapid growth of trade they are required to handle. The resulting congestion at these key locations can be extremely severe especially in the monsoon season, which unfortunately happens to be the peak season for retail and apparel customers. On top of that, the transport market is unorganised, transportation is frequently affected by strikes, and the legal framework for customs clearance – as well local customs practices – can be complicated. Establishing and managing a fast and reliable supply chain out of India may prove to be a real challenge for businesses trying to go it alone.


    The Damco solution

    Damco has an established presence in India, with currently over 500 logistics experts spread across an extensive office network throughout the sub-continent. Our specialists understand the way Indian suppliers work and can anticipate most of the issues that may arise. Next to this, we have engaged in strategic partnerships with private rail operators – to reduce our dependency on Indian Railways – and formed close connections with international ocean and air carriers. We have also built strong relationships with local vendors, particularly for trucking, warehousing and customs handling. Our long experience in India has enabled us to create exhaustive business continuity plans to deal with ‘regular’ issues (strikes, monsoons, congestion or suspension of transportation) as well as other types of disruption. Furthermore, we have alternates to the standard supply chain in place to be able to guarantee maximal agility and speed. Together, our widespread office network and the many alliances we have formed enable us to deal effectively with just about any issue, without affecting the time to delivery.

    New consolidation points for apparel, accessories and retail cargo
    Ensuring business continuity for customers depends not only on our knowledge, plans and partnerships, but also on having a reliable physical infrastructure. Damco has been present for many years in consolidation markets such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Tuticorin, and is by far the largest third party logistics provider here. To be able to handle the steadily increasing volume of shipments, Damco has recently invested in a number of new consolidation points, for example in Bangalore and at Tirupur. These locations are closer to manufacturing hubs and have access to multiple gateways, thus eliminating the risk of depending on a single port.

    All CFSs are well equipped to manage goods that need special handling, such as home furnishings, apparel, shoes, accessories and other fashion merchandise. Each location is fully equipped to provide multi-modal solutions so that, even when subject to external influences outside our control, speed to market is affected as little as possible. At different origins in India, Damco has dedicated teams of customs specialists who know everything about clearing apparel, home furnishings and accessories. They also provide in-house services for document audit for factories and customers who want to make use of our local expertise. In 2013, Damco India managed 2.2 million cbm of cargo exports from India. Of this, 700,000 cbm was moved via our CFSs, and the rest was transported directly from the factories.


    Sourcing In India is reliable with Damco

    India has many high quality suppliers and manufacturers capable of creating a wide range of products rapidly and according to the latest fashion trends and market needs. Vendors and retailers of apparel and other fashion merchandise can benefit greatly from this manufacturing potential, but only if they can rely on a solid supply chain – in particular, one that is robust to disruptions that would potentially affect time to market. The dependable and agile supply chain solutions that Damco provides can be the missing link that opens up these advantages to customers all over the world.

    See more of DAMCOs activities here

    Posted on Monday, July 14th 2014

    Tags Damco logistics india maersk india retail

    SVITZER takes a shipshape approach to safety


    Our focus is to make safe thinking and acting second nature for everyone at Svitzer. This will allows us to always conduct safe operations for the benefit of all our employees and customers.

    We continue to strive for safety excellence in our daily operations, and every employee is expected to take their part in making every day a safe day. Take a look at our safety clips here showing the various areas we’re focussing on.

    Focus on safety issues and procedures became highest priority for us following the tragic incident on one of the company’s vessels, SVITZER AL DEEBEL, on April 29th 2012. Since then, this day has been named official ‘Safety Day’ at Svitzer with the aim of improving safety-related workplace behaviour within our company, and the towage industry in general. 

    April 29 marked a day of remembrance for the employees we lost in safety-related incidents. It is the day where our employees stop and focus on safety topics. Safety Day is not only in focus once a year. At Svitzer, we strive to making every day a safe day whereby 29th April is a reminder of this goal for our employees. In this sense, reaching a zero-incidents safety record is a collective effort.


    Take a look at our Shipshape video here showing that it’s the small things that can make the biggest differences when it comes to safety.

    Learning through gaming

    On June 13th we released our latest effort in increasing the focus on Safety in the shipping industry - a game called Shipshaper for smartphones and tablets.

    Shipshaper is a fun and challenging game that reminds shipping industry employees of the safety risks and hazards on board a vessel. In the game, Duke Shaper, the character for the Svitzer Safety Shipshape campaign, moves through different environments removing safety hazards.

    Playing as Duke Shaper, the task is to remove different obstacles around the vessel without becoming complacent, tripping on the objects and losing the game. Touch and swipe to shipshape the work environment from cleaning up oil spills on the deck to closing drawers in the onboard office. The more things Duke Shaper shipshapes, the more the tempo and frequency of the obstacles increases.


    The Shipshaper game can be downloaded from the Apple App store and Google Play.

    Learn more on our safety day activities at Svitzer by visiting our Facebook page here

    Posted on Monday, July 14th 2014

    Tags Svitzer apps maritime safety Shipshape

    Educating girls in Monrovia


    APM Terminals has joined forces with the ‘More Than Me’ foundation to get girls off the street and into school in one of the most poverty-stricken townships in Monrovia, Liberia.

    More Than Me works with community leaders to identify the girls who are at high risk of being sexually exploited to ensure that education and opportunity, rather than exploitation and poverty, defines their lives. According to More Than Me, educating one girl in Monrovia is a key leverage point for social impact. Here’s why:

    • When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children;

    • An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10-20%. An extra year of secondary school: 15-25%;

    • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families. 


    The population of West Point, a township of Monrovia located approximately 0.5 km from the APM Terminals’ port of Monrovia, is approximately 75,000. There is only one state school in this area. Eighty percent of the children in West Point do not attend school and 70% of this group are girls.

    Initially ‘More Than Me’ worked with a local private school, however the facilities were too small, under-equipped and the building was
    in state of disrepair. For this reason, APM Terminals Monrovia decided to collaborate with
    More Than Me and other partners to invest in education through the construction of a new school. An existing ex-government building in disrepair was restored and, in September 2013, the More Than Me Academy opened its doors.The Academy will welcome up to 240 girls.

    For more information about the More Than Me’ foundation visit:  www.MoreThanMe.org

    Posted on Tuesday, July 8th 2014

    Tags APM terminals education women Monrovia liberia foundation community

    Dangerous micropassengers


    “Invasive marine species are one of the four greatest threats to the world’s oceans. Unlike other forms of marine pollution, such as oil spills, where ameliorative action can be taken and from which the environment will eventually recover, the impacts of invasive marine species are most often irreversible.” (International Maritime Organisation)

    This is why starting in 2014, the world’s 68.000 ships will have to treat their ballast water down to 10 microns to prevent the transfer of microorganisms from one ocean to another. Maersk’s approx. 260 container vessels, 160 tankers and 60 supply ships are no exception. Most newbuildings already come with ballast water treatment systems installed, so the real challenge lies in retrofitting existing vessels. The question here is not only which one of the currently 22 type-approved systems on the market to choose, but also how to coincide the installation with scheduled dry-dockings and inspections - a task Palle Wredstrom in MMT Ship Engineering has on the table. “Different ship types have different challenges, the installation on a tanker for instance, requires a dry-docking and thus poses logistic problems while on supply ships there is a severe lack of space for such a system. Also in the container business, we want to be true to our green profile and are looking for a system that is as environmentally friendly and energy efficient as possible. One size fits not all here”, he says.


    A classic case of constant care

    Another variable in this issue is the fact that the IMO convention has not yet been ratified since this requires signature by 30 states and 35% of the world’s tonnage. Present status is that 36 states representing approximately 29, 20 % of the world fleet, have signed the convention. Full ratification is expected in 2013. Once ratified, the convention will enter into force 12 month later.

    Nevertheless, A. P. Moller-Maersk is already today engaging in active preparations for the new rules by evaluating and testing various systems both on paper as well as onboard selected vessels. “For the Danish Shipowners’ Association the cooperation with MMT is very valuable and highly appreciated. MMT is because of their entrepreneurial approach bringing new knowledge to the discussion regarding ballast water treatment and thereby improving the political arguments of the industry”, says Peter Olsen from the Danish Shipowners’ Association (DSA). “With an installation cost from 1-5 MUSD per ship, we want to be sure to make the right choices”, Wredstrom explains.


    Thinking “out of the ship”

    With worldwide shipowners dreading the day the IMO requirements becomes reality, not to mention subsequent supply problems and the challenge to install the systems onboard existing vessels, Palle Wredstrom took a rather innovative approach to the problem: Why not turn the whole thing around? Instead of installing expensive systems with no payback on every single commercial ship in the world, why not set up shore-based cleaning facilities in key ports usable by all vessels? As no objections could be found – on the contrary - a project funded by the Danish Dhipowners Association was finalised in November 2012. The conclusion is that up shore-based reception facilities are a durable solution. But this requires either fixed routes or an installation in all ports. Therefore for now the installation onboard the vessels will be pursued and the systems on the market or entering the market are being continuously evaluated.

    Read more about the Ballast Water Management convention in the IMO’s website here.

    See what else Maersk is up to when it comes to cutting-edge marine technology here.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 8th 2014

    Tags Maersk Line technology micropassengers pollution