Christian Jurlander to optimize Unifeeder’s fleet

The largest feeder and shortsea network in Europe, Unifeeder appoints Christian Jurlander as Head of Global Fleet Optimization to bring optimization leadership to Unifeeder’s ambitious optimization strategy


Unifeeder, a global provider of the largest feeder and shortsea network in Europe, announced yesterday its selection of their new Head of Global Fleet Optimization. Christian Jurlander former Operations Manager, will step into his new role as Head of Global Fleet Optimization where he will take charge of all tasks linked to Fleet Optimization across Unifeeder.

In more specific terms, the purpose of Christian’s role will be to facilitate the most efficient use of Unifeeder’s fleet, following an improvement year-on-year to achieve the company’s optimization targets. Unifeeder states: “As a charterer of tonnage, Unifeeder carries part of the responsibility for making sure that at all stages conscious efforts are made to ensure the responsible use of resources and preservation of the environment.” Hence why the organisation has a mission of making global trade green and is committed to reduce fuel consumption and aims, in that way, to move towards net-zero emissions before 2050.

To accomplish this goal, it will involve various initiatives and it will also involve finding alternative fuel types. For this reason Unifeeder needs to be at the forefront in the optimization development transition and has therefore joined the Getting to Zero Coalition alliance and has initiated a Climate Partnership with the Blue Denmark.

This is also where Christian’s role comes into play, as part of his job includes enabling global initiatives to improve the fleet efficiency by defining and controlling that the required efficiency procedures are fully implemented in the regional setup.

Christian’s extensive career spans senior, strategic and operational roles in the maritime industry and he brings almost 14 years of experience in the Unifeeder organisation. Christian is expected to work in close cooperation with the Unifeeder Group’s COO, Jesper Uldbjerg and with the management teams of the regional operational teams as well as HQ employees responsible for e.g., bunker purchase, chartering of vessels, decarbonation as well as IT team.

Get to know Christian Jurlander and his plans as Head of Global Fleet Optimization in Unifeeder with this exclusive interview:

1/6 What are some of the most important assignments for a Head of Global Fleet Optimization to have?

The most important assignment in my new role is to continuously improve our efficient operation of the global fleet. This includes, lowering fuel consumption and obtaining GHG reductions. Initiatives can both be the operation of the vessels at sea and finding ways for an efficient port operation. Efficient port stays with high productivity will always be an important factor for lowering fuel consumption.

2/6 Where are you going to start your optimization efforts for Unifeeder?

I will finalize the implementation of some tools we have been working on for some years now. We have today a stowage tool, developed by a company called Sealytix. This tool will assist us in making high utilization of our vessels, reducing restows and making the needed crane split. We see this tool as being very effective and after it has been fully implemented in Northern Europe, it will be rolled out globally within Unifeeder.

Another huge initiative is the newly established collaboration with ZeroNorth, which is a vessel optimization software company. Their tools will ensure our vessels are taking the optimal route with optimal speed for next port.

3/6 What business impact on Unifeeder are you expecting to achieve with your new role? 

I expect to be a part of obtaining a highly efficient operation of our fleet globally. That we will never stand still, but always thrive for a smarter and more efficient way of operating and sail our fleet.  Continuously improvement and yearly improvement of our bunker consumption will be my business impact.

4/6 How do you expect to grow into the role? 

I look forward to learning and performing in all aspects of working as a project leader. Working for Unifeeder in a Group function is a very interesting challenge for me. I will be working with colleagues from different cultures and in different time zones. Leading teams over huge distances, encouraging a focus and clarifying our targets are all things I find very interesting. Once we can measure the results of our initiatives, I will feel very successful.

5/6 What are some of the most important skills for a head of global fleet optimization to have?

There are many suppliers on the market with different solutions to make an efficient operation of the fleet. This being with regards to bunker saving equipment onboard the vessels, operational software to share data and save port time, software which can build our network etc

It requires a critical thinking skill, to judge what will benefit our company the most. Teamwork is extremely important as well, as it is difficult to judge on different initiatives, and if all parts are covered. Implementing initiatives is much more difficult if standing alone.

So, it requires good contacts with colleagues in for example our IT, Finance, Chartering and our Operations department in our regions.

New tools or ways of working must be implanted on a global scale in our organization, skills for making high performance out of virtual teams is essential. This is due to our huge geographical distances as we are in Aarhus, Dubai, and Singapore. So, this does require leadership on the distance, meaning creating a collaborate mindset, setting clear goals and using intercultural skills as team members are located across cultures and in different time zones.

6/6 How do you approach the task of identifying optimization opportunities? 

My new job is a global position, meaning I must understand the different ways of operating our vessels in our 3 regions. Even though my previous position as Operations Manager in Europe gives me a strong foundation, I will however need to learn the difference in our other regions.

I will join interesting congresses and try to arrange meetings with providers having a portfolio within the scope where we see new optimization opportunities. Thereby finding our next global initiative.

    MARPRO is delighted to congratulate Christian on his appointment and wish him a further prosperous career as Head of Global Fleet Optimization.

    Unifeeder Group is a dynamic logistics company, covering Europe, Africa & Asia. We operate more than 150 vessels and make the way for +5,5 Mio. containers every year. We are innovative, data driven, and focused on ensuring a positive impact on the environment.

    For more articles about Unifeeder, click HERE.

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