Digital ambitions: Taking the lead in the tanker industry

Maersk Tankers’ first Chief Digital Officer, Peter Schrøder, discusses his ambitions for the company as the digital frontrunner in the tanker industry.

The new Chief Digital Officer of Maersk Tankers sat down to discuss his views on how digitisation is changing the tanker industry. Predictive maintenance, drone deliveries and the Internet of Things are just some examples Schrøder sees transformative potential in. Utilising existing technologies can make a profound difference while leveraging partnerships and inspiration from other industries to drive customer- and partner-centric digitisation.

What digital opportunities attracted you to Maersk Tankers?

“The tanker industry in a lot of ways is still very analogue. This means there is a huge opportunity to digitise parts of the business that can benefit from new ways of working – which the Position List from last year’s hackathon is a good example of – and develop new service offerings and revenue streams, increasing customer value and income in our pools. The tanker industry, and shipping overall, is set to dramatically transform as better data, integrated systems and new services contribute to these changes. At the same time, there is no one specific technology driver for this transformation, meaning Maersk Tankers has a high degree of flexibility for innovation. As such, the company is poised to lead the industry into a new frontier.”

Based on what you have seen in other industries and your experience in publishing, what can digitisation do for a business?

“Digitisation asks for industries to redefine new ways of doing business, and even find completely new businesses to work with at the same time as customer behaviours are changing significantly. Digitisation has, for example, hit hard in the media industry. It was the first industry to need to find a change in the way they operated. As the internet became widely available, content started appearing all over. Ten years ago, major consumer magazines were selling 250,000 copies a week in Denmark; today, that number has dropped to around 30,000. Publishing houses had to innovate to stay alive; embracing digitisation with new platforms like e-commerce and digital marketing services was needed and is what enabled them to succeed in today’s world.”

Maersk Tankers is poised to lead the industry into a new frontier.

How can digitisation be turned into value for customers and partners?

“Digital ideas must stem from identifying pain points by listening to what customers and partners need, rather than imposing our own thoughts on what they want. This can offer unique approaches to finding new revenue streams that benefit all parties. In Maersk Tankers, there is already a great wealth of knowledge within the company; combining this with insights from stakeholders in the industry will enable Maersk Tankers’ push for industry-wide digital transformation; transforming the tanker industry requires bold action driven by a customer- and partner-centric mind-set.” 

What opportunities and challenges do you see for a digital frontrunner like Maersk Tankers?

“What the tanker company of the future will look like depends on what competencies are in place and how successful digital solutions are in improving the business and service offerings. There are many opportunities when being the first to make a change. Better data can lead to better decision-making, building on the gut feeling that has traditionally driven the industry. Data-led processes also increase transparency for our partners and customers and open up possibilities for creating new services. At the same time, as the digital frontrunner in the tanker industry, Maersk Tankers is sticking its nose out, and this can bring challenges. We must be careful to avoid creating products that have already been developed. Ensuring the industry is ready for this change, and carving out a path forward for the industry as a whole is essential.”

Transforming the tanker industry requires bold action driven by a customer-and partner-centric mind-set.

What are the digital trends of 2018 that you see a potential in for Maersk Tankers?

“Artificial Intelligence is changing the way decision-making occurs, digital platforms are revolutionising the customer experience and how these technologies evolve will bring greater connections between businesses and customers and change the way we work. There is no ‘one solution fits all’; Maersk Tankers is uniquely positioned to capitalise on different trends by investing in the right partnerships and utilising our people’s strengths.” 

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.