German container line Hapag-Lloyd has launched a new digital tool for its bunker needs as it seeks to navigate the energy transition.

The end-to-end procurement and planning platform has been set up with Danish vessel optimisation player ZeroNorth.

The two companies said the service will enable the boxship owner to reduce its fuel spend.

New features promised include streamlined contract and port planning, contract tender capabilities and what is described as a true price algorithm.

ZeroNorth customers will have access to the platform, which is ready to be rolled out immediately.

The partnership comes amid a continued digitalisation of the bunker market, with advances in technology and increasing amounts of data increasing transparency.

Jan Christensen, Hapag-Lloyd’s senior director of global fuel purchasing, said the group has a clear strategic direction to advance decarbonisation across the fleet.

“To do this, we need to find the right partners — and we believe that ZeroNorth is perfectly placed to enable us to digitalise our bunker procurement and planning activity,” he added.

The partnership will be able to “meaningfully impact how we plan and buy our bunker fuel,” the director said.

He explained this is “by far the single largest lever that we can pull in service of our decarbonisation ambitions”.

Collaboration is key

Hapag-Lloyd is focusing on LNG and bio-LNG, as well as methanol, to reduce emissions.

Kenneth Juhls, managing director of the ZeroNorth Bunker division, said: “At ZeroNorth, we believe that the challenges that the industry faces are too large to tackle alone.”

“Partnerships are necessary to succeed, and working with Hapag-Lloyd will see us closely collaborate with another top industry player to help them decarbonise and digitalise,” he added.

In June, the Danish group allied with digital maritime platform RightShip to combine their offerings to clients.

Users will gain access to RightShip’s GHG 2.0 Rating platform and its Safety Score service, together with ZeroNorth’s carbon intensity indicator emissions analytics solution.

ZeroNorth is backed by AP Moller Holding, Cargill and PSG Equity, and has known fleet deals with X-Press Feeders, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus Co and Vitol.

In February, it kicked off joint operations with Rajesh Unni’s internet-of-things shipping platform Alpha Ori Technologies after completing a merger.

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