Maersk Supply Service is implementing digital initiatives across its fleet to improve efficiency and communications
Maersk Supply Service (MSS) employed digitalisation, alternative crew rotations and stockpiled critical parts to help overcome Covid-related challenges.
The Maersk Group subsidiary improved communications and implemented digital technologies on its vessels to reduce travel requirements and coronavirus risks.
MSS chief operating officer Mark Handin outlined some of the changes made during Riviera Maritime Media’s Annual Offshore Support Journal virtual conference and exhibition, supported by platinum sponsor Caterpillar, on 23 March 2021.
“We were faced with huge challenges in crew changes and the supply chain – we needed to take control of our own destiny,” said Mr Handin.
“We turned to local infrastructure; our workforces operated as self-contained business units, and we collaborated across Maersk’s broad pool of resources for crewing.”
To overcome supply-chain challenges, MSS stockpiled spares, strengthened relationships with suppliers and introduced cloud-based ship management and electronic inventory management on its vessels.
Other digitalisation investments included introducing videoconferencing, technologies for predictive maintenance, electronic logbooks and greater use of mobile communications equipment on vessels.
MSS has started rolling out electronic dashboards for better implementation of its permit to work systems. These cover hazardous operations, such as working at height and/or with dangerous tools, to reduce risk and prevent accidents.
“We are digitalising our vessels for smarter and more efficient ways of working”
It is also standardising sensor data gathering across the fleet, supporting its drive for cost-efficient maintenance and energy efficiency. Mr Handin said this standardisation had been deployed on two vessels as of March 2021 and more would follow.
MSS is trialling digitalised inventory management on its vessels. This involves barcode scanners and codes on equipment. It is introducing Microsoft Teams software on its vessels for easy communications between vessels and onshore teams and it has introduced web-based remote learning and training packages on vessels.
Mr Handin said the physical and mental health of employees was always a key focus and MSS has in place initiatives such as coronavirus testing, travel and onboarding protocols, life onboard protocols and vaccines for seafarers.
“Safety is essential, and in 2021 our focus will be on seafarer health,” he said. “There should also be a focus on mental health,” he added, citing managing fatigue, stress, situational awareness, engagement and communication.
To help support these initiatives and to maintain its focus on investing in renewables, MSS has appointed a new chief commercial officer. Jonas Munch Agerskov has been promoted from head of renewables, replacing Carsten Gram Haagensen who decided to pursue a career outside of the maritime industry.
Digitalisation across MSS vessels
Maersk Supply Service has initiated these digitalisation developments on its vessels: