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Maersk saves $90 million through application of KPIs

Maersk Line has reported that it has saved almost US$90 million through the use of its Maersk KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) system.

The company says that, in just three years, it has saved this enormous amount in energy costs by measuring the performance of individual vessels and raising awareness on fuel consumption.

Maersk KPIs have been used for a number of years to measure the performance of the company, however it is only since 2009 that the KPIs have also made their way on to the vessels in a bid to boost performance.

The vessel KPIs have evolved through close cooperation between the vessels, Maersk Line Vessel Management and Maersk Maritime Technology, which is in charge of the Maersk Ship Performance System (MSPS).

Today the overall scorecard consists of four parameters - energy, safety, daily running costs and cooperation (best practice sharing). At this stage a monetary value for savings has been applied to the energy KPI only.

After implementation of the programme by the crew and fleet groups, the company has been able to pinpoint some of the savings made over the last three years.

For example, Maersk Line notes that 160,000 tons of fuel have been saved as a result of higher propulsion efficiency, contributing to the US$90 million figure, a total which does not even include savings from other energy initiatives such as trim optimisation or basic load reduction.

“If you can't measure something, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it. It is essential to realise that the scorecards are only a valuable tool if they help facilitate decision making amongst stakeholders,” said Anup Rajan, performance manager at Maersk Line Vessel Management.

After seeing positive initial results from the KPI process for Maersk Line's own fleet, more than 150 vessels were subsequently upgraded with MSPS in the second half of 2011.

“We're confident that, although we are introducing rather new standards in the industry, we will be able to drive similar performance improvements in the chartered fleet,” says Flemming Bo Larsen, the man responsible for the 'Energy Efficiency Optimisation Drive' at Maersk Line.

The company says that its largest owners of chartered vessels have now all received scorecards and benchmarks on energy, starting from 1 January.

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.

Other Maersk business units are now following suit in measuring vessel performance, following on from these successes.

Vessel KPIs will be introduced by Maersk Supply Service, with the company noting that the motivation in this part of the business is of a more environmental nature.

Though the fuel bill for operations is usually not incurred by Maersk Supply Service, the company says that there are still enough reasons to save fuel - firstly, to meet its environmental targets, and secondly to reduce maintenance cost on the engines.

Currently, approximately 70 Maersk Supply Service vessels are reporting data through MSPS.

Maersk Tankers meanwhile also has KPIs up and running on its entire owned fleet, and is planning an additional roll-out to chartered vessels as well.

The company notes that energy saving, improved safety and financial management are the key issues for the project within the tanker unit.

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