New app gives masters regular cues and feedback on fuel efficiency


Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement is turning to behavioral science in a bid to help its masters and chief engineers to save fuel. 

Working with London-based startup Signol, BSM is looking at how regular feedback can affect officers' behavior in setting the best speed for the vessel, leading to more fuel-efficient voyages. BSM’s operational data analytics per vessel are combined with behavioral science in a purpose-built app built by Signol, creating personalized targets and feedback for the ship's top officers.

"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,” says 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 chiefs on 28 ships will take part in the pilot project, which began on August 25. Over a period of six months, each of them will receive individualized fuel efficiency targets via the Signol app. Every week, they will get updates on the progress they have made on fuel efficiency.

BSM hopes that the app will improve its officers' decisions with regards fuel consumption, and it may also boost morale onboard. “Our studies have shown that changing the master’s behavior alone could result in over five per cent lower fuel usage as well as in much higher job satisfaction by giving employees a sense of empowerment,” said Dan White, the CEO and co-founder of Signol.

“Achieving carbon neutrality requires structural and incremental change and can only be achieved if corporations act in unison,” said Topham. “That is why BSM is forming strategic partnerships worldwide to develop and implement innovative solutions that monitor and mitigate the environmental impact of our managed fleet.”