Becoming a service provider at heart

Maersk Tankers’ commercial function is being reorganised to focus on delivering commercial management solutions for shipowners.

The reorganisation and refocusing of the commercial function will help Maersk Tankers take the next step in its transformation into a fully-fledged service company that delivers shipping solutions for its partners. While commercial management of vessels for shipowners – the company’s partners - has long been the core business and primary growth engine of Maersk Tankers, realising 43% growth in vessels under mangement since 2018, further expansion is needed to strengthen the company’s market position.

“We will change from being the commercial function of a shipowner to becoming the core of a service provider,” says Eva Birgitte Bisgaard, Chief Commercial Officer. “Shipowners are navigating an increasingly complex environment. They entrust us to manage their valuable assets, and we must repay this trust by delivering solutions that help them manage this complexity, boost their financial returns and improve their environmental performance”.

Eva Birgitte Bisgaard, Chief Commercial Officer

In the new set-up, partner value will be built through the core product and the operational delivery of that core product – the two elements that form the service. Since a service is intangible by definition, the partner experience becomes a fundamental part of the product. How Maersk Tankers is experienced by the target market and whether it is chosen by potential partners is enabled by go-to-market and sales efforts. 

Following this service provider model, the new organisational structure rests on four main pillars: the core product, which is spot trading; the operational delivery of the core product, operational handling of spot trading; go-to-market, handling business modelling and marketing of the services; and sales, the efforts to increase the number of vessels in the pools. This structure, says Bisgaard, will be “a growth vehicle and enable us to deliver an enhanced partner experience, based on a clear focus on the service we deliver and who we are directing our efforts towards”. 

Pioneering a new way of working in shipping

To bring the new set-up to life and realise its potential, the Chartering and Operations teams are ‘going agile’, which is a new way of working in shipping. Agile working is commonly used in software development and other service industries and describes a flat working structure composed of empowered teams. This allows for flexibility and cuts the time from decision to execution.

Bisgaard who worked in an agile environment at YouSee, a business arm of Danish telecom TDC, trusts in the potential of the business methodology. Introducing agile working will prepare Maersk Tankers for further growth by “elevating our core commercial competencies and providing a nourishing environment for creating and delivering shipping solutions for our partners”.

Equally, the agile working will benefit employees, she says. “When we as a company transitioned from being a vessel owner to a service provider, we also redefined our fundamental business value – from that of assets to people. Delivering a valuable experience to our partners that continually evolves with their changing needs, can only be done with highly skilled and passionate people. We are fortunate in having a wealth of talent in the commercial function and, with our new structure and ways of working, we will give them new opportunities to grow personally and professionally”.

Appointments and new structure

A number of positions will change with immediate effect. The new organisational structure also offers a range of new positions, which, working closely with employees, will be filled by 1 April.

The changes in positions are as follows: 

The Chartering team, responsible for the delivery of the core product – spot trading – will be led by Kristian Jasper as Global Head of Chartering. Jasper, who previously held the position as Head of LR2, Afra and City Chartering in Singapore, will relocate to Copenhagen later in the year as part of his new role.

The Operations team, led by Aditya Trehan, Global Head of Operations, will continue to have responsibility for the operational handling of the core product of spot trading.  

The new Go-to-Market team will be established under the leadership of Lars Sprogoe Bentzen, who will become Head of Go-to-Market. 

An integrated Partner Sales & Service team will be established and the recruitment for its leader has started. In the interim, the team will be led by Lars Sprogoe Bentzen. 

The four teams will be supported by the Freight Solutions team, which will be headed by Per Heilmann as Head of Freight Solutions.

The reorganisation includes the roles of segment heads becoming redundant and two leaders leaving Maersk Tankers. No further redundancies are planned.

With the restructuring and refocusing of the commercial function Bisgaard is in no doubt that the commercial employees will become “service providers at heart”.


About Maersk Tankers

Maersk Tankers is a leading player in the product tanker industry, operating one of the largest fleets of vessels and employing 3,000 employees worldwide. Established in 1928, Maersk Tankers has more than nine decades of experience and expertise in commercial and technical vessel management, providing partners with solutions that generate greater economic and environmental performance and customers with safe, efficient and flexible services.