Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement looks to slash shipping emissions through behavioural science

Hamburg-based ship manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has stepped up its decarbonising efforts by exerting behavioural science and the latest technology to improve the fuel efficiency of its managed fleet.

BSM has teamed up with London-based software startup Signol to explore how giving personalised performance feedback to its masters and chief engineers can positively impact their behaviour in selecting the optimum speed for the vessel and ultimately lead to more fuel-efficient voyages. BSM’s operational data analytics per vessel are combined with behavioural science in a dedicated app built by Signol, creating personalised targets and feedback for each crew member.

Changing the master’s behaviour alone could result in over 5% lower fuel usage

“Whilst shipping is the most efficient means of global transport with the lowest carbon emissions, we at BSM believe that the potential for improvement in this field is still immense,” said Nick Topham, managing director at BSM Germany. “By introducing our crew to the direct impact of their actions, we hope that we can drive them to make measurable fuel and CO2 savings.”

More than 60 masters and chief engineers on 28 vessels will take part in the pilot project that commenced on August 25. Over six months, each participating crew member will receive individualised targets via the Signol app, which are calculated based on the crew’s recent performance. Every week, the participating seafarers will obtain updates on personal milestones and achievements via the app and email. They can review their voyages and the progress they have made on fuel efficiency and submit their feedback via the app.

BSN said that the use of the Signol app onboard the vessels intends to not only improve crew decisions concerning fuel consumption but also aims to boost seafarer morale and wellbeing onboard due to ongoing communication and personal interaction.

“Our studies have shown that changing the master’s behaviour alone could result in over 5% lower fuel usage as well as in much higher job satisfaction by giving employees a sense of empowerment,” said Dan White, CEO and co-founder at Signol.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.


  1. The initiative taken by BSM (Germany) and Signol (London) towards decarbonization is indeed a novel and innovative step. By involving crew members of the ship in implementing the new guidelines and more importantly putting into practice will definitely help in saving precious marine fuels and also bringing about efficiency in sea voyages. Appreciate Adis Adjin’s efforts in posting such a significant news.

  2. “selecting the optimum speed for the vessel and ultimately lead to more fuel-efficient voyages”
    “crew decisions concerning fuel consumption”

    I would like to know how can I achieve/control those 2 things when the charterer or owner is always strongly imposing the ETA?
    Personally seems like a app developed by someone who does not have any idea about it..

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