AAL forges ahead, despite challenging times
AAL, an operator in the breakbulk, heavy lift, and project cargo industry, has achieved several milestones within the last few months. The developments include a first ship call at the Stewart World Port in British Columbia, the first deliveries to a petroleum project in Venezuela, and the establishment of a partnership with Swire Shipping. AAL’s recent inaugural sailing into Stewart World Port (SWP), British Columbia’s most northern ice-free trading point, was designed to provide increased choice and convenience for its mining, forestry, oil and gas and project cargo customers. “A port call option at SWP gives customers a wider choice that can ultimately impact the efficiency, delivery and competitiveness of their logistics operations,” said Felix Schoeller, general manager of AAL’s Pacific service. AAL’s Pacific service provides monthly sailing frequencies between north Asia and the west coast of North America and deploys three modern A-class vessels, each with a combined lifting capacity of 700 metric tons. These vessels can accommodate outsized project cargo along with containers and breakbulk cargo like steel and pulp. AAL’s inaugural sailing into SWP featured the AAL Newcastle, one of AAL’s owned fleet of A-class 31,000 dwt multipurpose, heavy lift vessels, delivering project cargo. AAL recently delivered its first shipments of heavy lift cargo, destined for the Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) Puerto La Cruz Refinery in eastern Venezuela, part of a multi-billion dollar expansion and modernization project. The first cargo shipment of 40,000 cubic meters of modular pipe racks and structural steel was shipped from Nantong to Guanta aboard the 31,000 dwt A-Class vessel, AAL Brisbane. “Puerto La Cruz is one of the largest oil refineries in the country, at about 190,000 barrel per day and a major refining hub for crude extracted in the states of Monagas and Anzoátegui,” said Marc Willim, general manager of AAL’s tramp and projects division. “Further monthly shipments will follow.” To proactively combat economic challenges facing the Australasia region, breakbulk, project, and heavy lift shipping operator, AAL, has initiated a space sharing agreement with Swire Shipping for cargo transiting from Asia to the east coast Australia. “We are reinforcing a well-established trade and demonstrating our commitment to local customers and the wider Australian breakbulk, project, and heavy lift market, notwithstanding clear economic challenges in the region,” said Christophe Grammare, managing director of AAL’s liner services division. The space sharing will enable regular service to an increased number of ports, 13 in all, connecting China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam with Australia’s east and southern coasts. The arrangement will also offer shortened voyages with sailing frequency set to improve from Shanghai, Pusan, and Kaohsiung from 30 days to 20 days. AAL will continue to deploy two of its A-class multipurpose heavy lift vessels on the route with capacities of 31,000 dwt each and 700-ton combined lifting capacity. Swire Shipping deployed two smaller vessels on the route.