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Performance Measurement Saves Maersk $90 Million

Shipping giant Maersk Line saved almost $90 million in energy costs over three years by measuring the performance of individual vessels, the company has announced.

Maersk says that by monitoring key performance indicators it has increased its fleet’s propulsion efficiency and saved 160,000 tons of fuel – amounting to a savings of $90 million – since 2009. This figure does not include savings from other energy initiatives such as trim optimization or basic load reduction, the shipping firm says.

The firm says it subscribes to the “If you can’t measure something, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it,” school of thought. In 2012, the Maersk Ship Performance System’s overall scorecard consists of four key performance indicators: energy, safety, daily running costs and cooperation. The firm has so far only calculated dollar amount savings from work on the energy KPI.

Following the initial success on Maersk vessels, the shipping line says its supply service and tankers have also rolled out the KPIs. More than 150 vessels rolled out the system in the second half of 2011, and since January 1 the largest owners of chartered vessels have received scorecards and benchmarks on energy.

Each of the KPIs will be rated on a monthly basis and merged into an overall KPI score for each charter owner. More owners will be added on an ongoing basis, Maersk says.

In October, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative – a group of major shipping companies including Maersk – pledged to pioneer methods for stakeholders to compare sustainability performance, in an effort to improve the industry’s environmental impacts.

The initiative, other members of which include Rio Tinto, Cargill and BP Shipping, released a Vision 2040 paper to outline “specific commitments to action,” though the paper does not list any deadlines or quantitative targets for improvement.

In February 2011, Maersk announced plans to build what it said would be the world’s largest and most energy efficient fleet of container ships.

The Triple E fleet – the largest ship design in the world – will emit 50 percent fewer emissions compared to the industry average for vessels operating on the Asia-Europe route, Maersk said. This will come out to CO2 savings of about 2.5 tonnes per container on a one-way trip between Shanghai and Rotterdam.

The line will emit 20 percent fewer emissions per container moved than the Emma Maersk, at that time the world’s largest shipping vessel, Maersk said.

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