Maersk Looks to "Big Data" to Lower Bunker Bills

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday April 14, 2015

Recently appointed head of Maersk Maritime Technology (MMT), Paolo Tonon, is looking to "big data" to bring bunker bills down, among other things, ShippingWatch reports.

According to the report, Maersk Group downloads around 30 terabytes of data per month from its fleet of approximately 400 owned and chartered ships

"What do we do with all that data?" said 15-year Wärtsilä veteran, Tonon.

"This is the next big thing for the next coming months and years."

"At Maersk Line, they have had success developing technical strategies alongside MMT regarding how to minimise operational expenses, and this is also thanks to data."

Under Tonon's predecessor, Maersk developed its ultra large Triple-E container vessels to lower unit costs, including bunker consumption per unit, but big data will be the next step in development.

Tonon said MMT uses data to help make decisions about retrofitting vessels.

In one example, Maersk Tankers improved energy efficiency by between 7 percent and 8 percent through changes to ship design.

"We usually change the bulbous bow on the ship, we change the propeller, we fine-tune the engines for different operational profiles," said Tonon.

Big Data: The Next Big Thing

But using the large amounts of data "you learn more about how the equipment functions on board the ships, and how to simply optimize the way in which you work with the equipment and lessen operational costs," he added.

In addition, he said that using data to learn how to more efficiently handle cargoes could increase capacity by up to 10 percent.

The use of big data is still in its infancy compared to where it can take Maersk and the shipping industry once harnessed.

"This is just a scratch on the surface compared to what possibilities big data will give us," said Tonon.

"This is a big opportunity and with Maersk's large fleet, we are in a good position in relation to developing knowledge on how big data in shipping can support future technology development."

Tonon also said Maersk is "definitely looking into LNG" as a marine fuel of the future.