Maersk Line is already the world’s most timely carrier, but that hasn’t stopped us from continuing to improve our performance. Slow steaming is an operational strategy that is helping us make further gains in schedule reliability and environmental performance.
First initiated in 2007, slow steaming is an operational strategy that has enabled us to deliver greater schedule reliability and environmental performance.
What is it? Slow steaming involves a vessel operating at lower-than-average speeds at different legs along a route. Doing this gives our vessels more flexibility, ensuring that they stay on time by enabling them to speed up or slow down as needed.
As compensation for the lower average speed, one or two extra vessels are added to ensure the same service frequency – for example, one port call per week.
Slow steaming also reduces the amount of fuel needed to operate the service, which in turn decreases CO2 emissions significantly.
What does it do for you?
Of the top 20 carriers (in terms of capacity), Drewry has ranked Maersk Line No. 1 in on-time delivery in eight out of the last nine quarters. Slow steaming has been critical in improving our performance in this area. By improving schedule reliability, slow steaming helps to ensure that our customers’ products arrive at their destination on time.
Slow steaming also helps reduce the carbon footprint of our customers’ supply chain operations. From 2007-2009, we managed to slash CO2 emissions per container by 12.5% – and we’re aiming for a total reduction of 25% by 2020. Slow steaming will be key in reaching this target.
Is slow steaming here to stay? At Maersk Line, we see slow steaming as win-win-win proposition – delivering value through a balanced “people-profit-planet” approach. That’s why we intend to continue with slow steaming, as long as it makes sense for all concerned.
“Maersk Line will continue slow steaming even as market conditions turn to the better – slow steaming is here to stay”
- Morten Engelstoft,
Chief Operational Officer, Maersk Line