US-based Cargill and Denmark-based shipping company Maersk Tankers have collaborated to merge their medium-range (MR) fleet of tankers in order to enhance customer service and supporting sustainable shipping.

Under the agreement, Cargill will combine its MR fleet into the existing Maersk Tankers MR pool. This will create a new joint pool to boost the scope of their MR spot tanker business.

The new joint pool will also leverage their collective expertise in fuel optimisation while reducing bunker consumption and CO2 emissions.

Maersk Tankers will run the combined fleet while members of Cargill’s tankers team will offer support on a full-time basis.

Located across Copenhagen, Singapore and Houston, the new team will cover all regular commercial and operational works.

Maersk Tankers chief commercial officer Claus Gronborg said: “We are excited to partner with Cargill, a key industry player. The new set-up will substantially increase the scale of the pool and give us more flexibility to offer a better service to our customers.”

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Maersk Tankers currently manages 44 vessels for ten partners in its existing MR pool. Cargill will add its fleet of up to 20 vessels, which will increase the total number of the pool to more than 60 ships.

Besides getting exposure to the spot market, the combined pool will benefit from Maersk Tankers’ digitalised approach to trading. This is expected to strengthen customer service and improve earnings for partners.

Cargill Ocean Transportation tankers global head Olivier Josse said: “Our teams share a passion for safety and sustainability and combine complementary skills. This partnership will bring a progressive approach to our customers, notably increased digitalisation and sustainable shipping.”

The latest vessel pooling agreement does not include derivatives or MR tankers for period employment, which will be managed by the two firms on their own.

Cargill’s vessels will join the pool from 1 October.

Managing a fleet of more than 650 vessels, Cargill Ocean Transportation offers bulk shipping services to customers worldwide.