Advanced Polymer Coatings launches new online platform for chemical tanker operators


AVON, Ohio USA headquartered manufacturer Advanced Polymer Coatings is launching a new digital platform for shipping line customers to help seafarers and vessel operators more safely manage chemical cargoes.

The new ‘MarineLINE Customer Care’ platform has been created to enable shipping lines to better understand how to maintain APC’s MarineLINE tank coating and the aggressive cargoes it enables them to carry. The portal is the result of a year-long collaboration with some of the biggest chemical tanker operators in the world including APC customer Bahri.

APC Global Customer Care Manager Stephen Jarvie said the platform is accessed via the APC website and is designed to tackle the primary pain points of cargo tank maintenance.

“The performance of the protective coating on a chemical or product tanker is one of the most important elements of the ship’s operations and profitability,” he said. “Working closely with shipping lines we saw a big need to radically improve how the vessel operators access information. For example, often the crew or charterer will be unsure which chemicals can be swopped between voyages and how to best clean the tanks after unloading. The portal gives tank cleaning advice tailored to which chemical cargoes follow each other. This is a big area of uncertainty as tank cleaning is complex.  However, by maximizing cleaning techniques shipping lines can more confidently switch between a wide variety of aggressive chemicals. This enables the fleet to be much more versatile and pick up more spot business.”

Mr Jarvie said the new system enables APC to keep a closer eye on how the coatings are performing while giving shipping lines a more personal service and market intelligence.

“Historically we have installed the coating and had intermittent contact with the shipping line on how to manage it,” he said. “As a result, the performance of the coating was not being fully monitored and optimized. Much more help is needed so we are making advice sheets available 24 hours a day online and offline and we are encouraging the vessel operator be it charterer, ship manager or crew to contact our Customer Care team by phone or email with queries. In addition, vessel operators said they wanted more information about the history of the vessel coating. For example, where and when was the coating first applied and if a drydocking is required for an inspection or a recoat which shipyards worldwide are best equipped to do this. The Customer Care portal creates a much more dynamic relationship between APC and the vessel operators. We feel this is an important step forward for us and the tanker industry.”

The Customer Care portal features details on more than 2000 chemicals and 700 vessels worldwide which have been coated with MarineLINE, around 12pc of the global tanker fleet.

To cater to the growing demand for MarineLINE in shipyards in Asia, Europe and America APC is doubling the size of its US factory with a multi-million dollar eight figure expansion project. The new factory will extend the company’s R & D facilities and quadruple production capacity with a new automated manufacturing system. The expanded factory is expected to begin operations in Q4 2024.

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