Maersk Tankers and commodity trader Cargill have formed a partnership that will see the two companies combine their bunker volumes.

The partnership will offer a new bunker procurement service to tramp shipping companies and trading houses.

Initially, the goal is to procure bunker fuel for Cargill and Maersk Tankers’ combined fleet of over 900 vessels, while aiming to attract additional customers in the coming months.

The service will leverage Cargill’s in-house bunker expertise and Maersk Tankers’ commercial and operational capabilities and will launch on April 1, 2021.

Cargill currently charters a fleet of around 700 vessels and procures 2.5 million tons of marine fuel per year, while 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 tons.

“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,” said Olivier Josse, Head of Tankers and Marine Fuel at Cargill Ocean Transportation.

“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,” says Claus Gronborg, Chief Investment Officer at Maersk Tankers.

“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.”

What is more with the impending transition to carbon-neutral future, the new bunker service is expected to provide unique access to future marine fuels, including Cargill’s growing biodiesel business.

This partnership follows a series of strategic collaborations between Cargill and Maersk Tankers.

In 2019, Cargill and Maersk Tankers created a joint MR tankers pool and launched Project Njord with Mitsui & Co to bring turn-key energy-saving solutions to the market. Last year, Cargill became a strategic investor in ZeroNorth, a tech start-up focusing on vessel performance optimization and decarbonization founded by Maersk Tankers.