A new shipping tech giant is being formed via a tie-up between Denmark’s ZeroNorth and Rajesh Unni-founded Alpha Ori Technologies.

The companies said their alliance will boost fuel and efficiency optimisation services for the global fleet.

Singapore’s AOT specialises in using the internet of things, sensors and high-frequency data, while Copenhagen-based ZeroNorth’s platform aims to cut emissions through data-driven vessel optimisation.

The combination will create a “leading maritime optimisation company and a new powerhouse in shipping’s digital transformation”.

The aim is to generate synergies and offer a single service to shipowners.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

ZeroNorth will be the surviving name and chief executive Soren Meyer will remain at the helm of the joint set-up. AOT’s co-CEOs, Bala Sankaran and founder Rajesh Unni, will become non-executive board members of the new entity.

Unni’s main business is Singapore ship manager Synergy Marine Group, which he also founded. He is executive chairman, after stepping back from the CEO role in the summer.

The two tech companies already count more than 4,000 ships among their clients.

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

Rajesh Unni is AOT’s co-CEO and will become a non-executive board member of the new entity. Photo: Synergy

The new entity will offer 12 services under one roof.

The group will retain its global office presence, headquartered in Copenhagen, and a combined workforce of 780 people.

Meyer said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this agreement with AOT, which we truly believe represents the exciting next step in shipping’s digital and sustainability transformation.”

He called the deal a strategic move that will benefit not just customers but the sector as a whole.

“It will enable us to serve the industry as its leading maritime optimisation provider of choice and underlines our commitment to bettering both profit and planet,” he added.

Sankaran said his company believed this was the perfect time to scale up and “do bigger things together”.

“This agreement is perfectly in line with our ambition to drive sustainability, performance and business results for our customers,” he added.

ZeroNorth says it has saved more than 1m tonnes in emissions for owners since 2021.

Set up in 2020, its list of takeover deals is already lengthy: marine fuel supply software company BTS, Prosmar Bunkering and bunkering optimisation outfit ClearLynx.