Operational Excellence

Cost pressures have thrust operational excellence to the forefront of doing business in maritime industries. Declines in global trade have reduced shipping volumes, diminished revenues and resulted in cost constraints on commercial fleets. Within the U.S. government, global priorities, like operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and spurring economic recovery, have limited the funds available for improving or adding new vessels. Such dynamics in the public and private sectors make it critical to strike the optimal balance between resource allocation and asset readiness.

Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) maintains a variety of U.S. government vessels as well as our own U.S. flag fleet, and we face this challenge every day. The variety of ships we have managed – from container ships, tankers and roll-on/roll-off ships to government supply and special mission ships – compounds the complexity.

In planning and executing vessel performance and lifecycle strategies, MLL focuses on several key aspects that, when combined, yield optimal results. That is, they lower the total cost of ownership while increasing performance and mitigating risk.

Commercial Best Practices Applied to Government Ships

As a ship owner and operator, ensuring operational excellence is paramount to making our business model work. Commercial ship owners operate in a business environment that prescribes high asset utilization, constrained budgets, and long asset lives, all to maximize investment and assure customer service. We expect 99% utilization at an operational reliability of at least 99% over the life of the ship, about 25 to 35 years. Commercial operations require ships to operate continuously for five to seven years between maintenance availabilities, and the duration of dry dockings is minimized in order to resume revenue-generating sailings.

Our approach to government ship management is similar, although performance metrics shift from profitability to ship readiness. To ensure excellence by commercial and government standards, operators must set high performance thresholds and monitor key performance indicators.

Higher Standards and Certifications

By law, a U.S. vessel is only required to comply with the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention. We are in compliance not only with this code, but also certified by the International Standards Organization (ISO) on key non-mandatory standards.

  • Information Security Management System ISO 27001:2013
  • Energy Management Systems ISO 50001:2011
  • Quality Management Systems ISO 9001:2008
  • Environment Management Systems ISO 14001:2004

These standards and certifications ensure that MLL provides for safe practices in ship operations, ensures a safe working environment, prevents pollution, establishes safeguards against all identified risks, and continually improves the safety management skills of our personnel.

To view our policies, please see the link below:

Health, Safety, Quality, Environmental Protection, and Energy Policy 2015