Shell Marine is introducing its Marine Integrated Lubrication and Expert Solutions (MILES) programme, its new and unique approach in lubricants management. This new initiative includes combining purchasing options, services and an extensive range of lubricant products in a multi-faceted strategy addressing its customers’ most pressing operational concerns.

Shell Marine is also considering continuous product and service developments as part of an integrated strategy that includes innovative delivery options and a coherent response to digital disruption in the maritime sector.

“It is vital that Shell Marine is responsive to the challenges in the maritime industry where complexity and cost pressure is the new normal,” says Jan Toschka, Shell Marine Executive Director. “The flood of new regulations, changing engine technology, new fuels, efficiency pressures and increasing digitalisation means ship owners must adapt to thrive. It is only natural that they look to suppliers not only to help optimise their operating costs, but also to take away operational complexities where possible, allowing them to focus on their core business.”

“We are helping our customers to reduce their operational costs by monitoring lubricant consumption and providing advice about future volume liftings and ports. This offer, in particular when combined with our technical services, helps customers not only to generate cost savings but also reduce complexity on their side,” he said.

To maximise scale and benefits of MILES, Shell Marine is working with external experts to develop digital solutions utilising greater connectivity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. This will allow Shell Marine to offer a wide range of new services, from building recommendations about optimal volume/port lifting as well as creating ways to reduce purchasing costs to the extent of managing the entire lubrication management for the vessel. Such method of combining stock levels, demand planning and supply costs, will certainly lead to greater synergies between customers and Shell Marine.

In addition to the new lubricant solutions, Shell Marine will be offering different payment solutions which help ship owners optimise their working capital and budgeting. For example, “Flexi pay” or “pay as you consume” schemes from other industries have been considered and Shell Marine believes that helping customers flatten their operating expenses as well as budgets will benefit them over time.

Continuous product development is critical in meeting the industry’s technical challenges. Shell Alexia 140, a BN 140 cylinder oil that addresses issues related to corrosive wear in some highly-tuned two-stroke engines. It also supports blend on board mixing and blending such as MAN Diesel & Turbo’s automated cylinder oil mixing (ACOM), to find the optimal feed rate for customers’ engines. Shell Alexia 140 will be available in Q3 2017 at selected ports. Deliveries of Shell Alexia 140 will be combined with Shell LubeMonitor service. Results obtained from our own testing and from services delivered to our customers show the reductions in feed rate and savings that can be achieved by using our cylinder monitoring service.

Four-stroke engines are also continuously evolving and require oil in lower amounts that can perform well at higher temperature and pressures. Shell Marine’s portfolio of four-stroke engine oils Shell Argina and Shell Gadinia have been developed to give superior engine cleanliness and lacquer control.

Summing up, Toschka adds, “Shell Marine acknowledges that the Marine industry needs smarter and more intelligent ways to work together and create synergies on both sides, for ship owners and suppliers. Our customers have responded positively to our new services and we are committed to introduce these new ways of working to a wider customer base.”