Maersk Tankers buys into hedge fund CargoMetrics

Maersk Tankers has entered an equity agreement with CargoMetrics, a Boston-based hedge fund which can boast the likes of Google’s Eric Schmidt and Israeli shipowner Idan Ofer as investors.

CargoMetrics specialises in quantitative trading models derived from shipping data. It links satellite signals, historical shipping data and proprietary analytics for trading purposes in its systematic investment platform.

The agreement signed this week establishes a strategic partnership between Maersk Tankers and CargoMetrics, providing Maersk Tankers access and exclusive rights to CargoMetrics’ analytical models, algorithms and capabilities.

“In the partnership, we will accelerate our use of digital solutions to enable our business strategy, which will deliver value to our customers and partners while we generate income and develop our position as the digital frontrunner in the product tanker industry,” said Soren Meyer, chief strategy and transformation officer at Maersk Tankers.

For Maersk Tankers, the CargoMetrics move comes after it took a pummeling on the spot market during the second quarter. Maersk Tankers reported an underlying loss of $17m in Q2, negatively impacted by declining spot market rates, which were the main driver for Maersk Tankers’ average time charter equivalent (TCE) earnings declining by 27%.

Maersk Tankers, due to be sold by AP Moller-Maersk soon, has made much of its commitment to digital transformation. For instance, today sees the start of a three-day hackathon organized by the company in Copenhagen with a prize of DKK25,000 ($4,000) up for grabs.

“Data about the 90% of global trade that moves by sea is a powerful trading edge,” Scott Borgerson, CEO and founder of CargoMetrics, said today. “This is the quintessential partnership where we can drive returns in both of our businesses by collaborating with one of the leading players in shipping while applying our patented technology to their physical tanker operations. We are excited to team up with Maersk Tankers to further increase the use of big data in the product tanker industry.”

Last year it was revealed that a host of billionaires including Ofer and Schmidt had invested in CargoMetrics.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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