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  • Laurence Russell

Marlink and Fraunhofer CML Institute partner to map maritime KPI data and ROI scenarios

Marlink, the smart network solutions company, has signed an agreement with leading research institute Fraunhofer CML (Center for Maritime Logistics and Services) to identify Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data to accelerate digitalisation and define the Return on Investment (ROI) scenarios for long term operational efficiency.

The project outcomes will enable shipowners to better understand how to optimise voyages, reduce fuel consumption and optimise operational maintenance

Within this agreement, Marlink will leverage its BridgeLink solution to deliver data from core engine room and bridge systems including VDR, ECDIS, Radar, AIS, AMS, engine control systems, cargo systems, propulsion and sensors. The outcomes will enable shipowners to better understand how to optimise voyages, reduce fuel consumption and optimise operational maintenance. Fraunhofer CML develops and optimises processes and systems for the maritime supply chain. The institute supports private and public sector clients, including ports, logistics services providers and shipping companies, implementing innovation using practice-oriented research.


The joint research project reflects the importance of data collection to the transformation needed to achieve long term efficiencies and compliance with decarbonisation targets, optimising investments to reflect vessel lifespan. To do so, shipping companies will need to shift from reactive or procedural operations to centralised and data-driven work processes if they want to maximise the expected optimisation and efficiency savings and comply with regulations and commercial terms.


Using quantitative analysis techniques and industry-specific knowledge, Fraunhofer CML will produce a unified dataset that will be used as a reference model by owners who want to improve efficiency in data-driven use cases but whose technical departments may require additional support. Feedback already collected by Marlink suggests that operators of all sizes would benefit from assistance in gathering the harmonised data that they can use to develop a practical digital decarbonisation strategy.


The KPIs generated will be measured against a baseline of historical data which will define and set out the new data to be collected. From the data and supporting information provided, Fraunhofer CML and Marlink will produce representative data on ROI scenarios for shipowners’ different use cases. Owners will use the results to make operational improvements and plan strategic investments in energy saving devices based on ship type, age and fleet profile.


“Decarbonisation is challenging for many shipping companies, as it represents a fundamental change to their operations and a transformation in their customer relationships,” said Nicolas Furgé, President, Digital, Marlink. “This research project will help shipowners implement their decarbonisation and optimisation strategies and help them plan investment and make decisions on a shorter timeline.”


“Fraunhofer CML has vast experience in addressing shipping industry challenges using interdisciplinary teams of engineers, economists, mathematicians, computer scientists and navigators to create customised solutions,” said Dr.-Ing. Anisa Rizvanolli, Team Leader at Fraunhofer CML. “This project will fill a vital need by providing actionable KPI data that companies can adopt into their daily processes and use to plan for a low carbon future.”

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