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AAL LEADS OPINIONS

AAL Managing Director, Kyriacos Panayides interviewed at Breakbulk Europe 2018, on the current state of the MPV sector.

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AAL TRIUMPHS AGAIN AT AFLAS AWARDS!

AAL, one of the world’s leading global breakbulk and heavy lift operators, has been named ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’ at the prestigious 2018 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards, held in Shanghai, China.

The AFLAS Awards are a celebration of Asia’s freight, logistics and supply chain industry, and AAL beat off intense competition from the sector’s leading carriers to win the award for the fifth consecutive year.

The award win follows a successful year for AAL in a project cargo market that has continued to endure its share of challenges. Over the last 12 months AAL has been adjusting its strategy and business practice to stay ahead of the game, with a number of significant milestones, such as new co-operations, record breaking shipments, expansion in both fleet and infrastructure, and landing in a new niche market positioning.

Jack Zhou, AAL’s General Manager in China, commented: “We are honoured to have won this award and for a record fifth consecutive year. We have been extensively involved in the Asian project cargo market for three decades, and as we’ve grown, Asia has similarly prospered. We have served many of the biggest names and most exciting industrial and infrastructure projects in the region. Such recognition of our hard work is warmly appreciated and I accept this award on behalf of the whole company.”

Kyriacos Panayides, Managing Director of AAL, commented: “To lift your quality of service to the highest level, is a long process with a hard path to follow by upgrading all aspects of the organisation. To maintain such reputable status for consecutive years, this truly reflects an incredible outstanding achievement by the AAL team, which is second to none. Noteworthy is that such performance was demonstrated in the midst of very challenging times in our markets, where quality was losing out to pricing dominance for majority of shippers.”

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AAL WINS BEST PROJECT CARGO SHIPPING AWARD!

Last night in Shanghai, at one of Asia’s most celebrated Shipping Awards, the AFLAS Awards, AAL beat out all other leading carriers to win the prestigious ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’ honour.

Jack Zhou, AAL’s General Manager of China, collected the award on AAL’s behalf. He commented, ‘We are honoured to have won this award and for a record fourth consecutive year. We have been extensively involved in the Asian project cargo market for over 20 years and in that time have served many of the biggest names and most exciting industrial projects in the region. Such recognition of our hard work is warmly appreciated and I accept this award on behalf of the whole company.’

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AAL DELIVERS GIANT PASSENGER BOARDING BRIDGES TO WORLD’S BUSIEST CRUISE PORT, PORTMIAMI

AAL has completed its first cargo shipment in partnership with new Spanish Representative, Marítima Davila, transporting two giant Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridges (SPBB) to PortMiami in a single sailing.

With the ink not yet dry on their exclusive nationwide agency agreement, AAL and its new Spanish Representative, Marítima Davila of Grupo Davila booked and transported an impressive cargo of giant heavy lift port infrastructure components from Barcelona to the world’s largest and busiest cruise port, PortMiami.

The cargo comprised of two giant tailor-made and fully assembled Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridges (SPBB), destined for PortMiami’s newly renovated ‘Terminal F’ where they will assist in the safe transit of many of the port’s 4.8 million annual cruise passengers.

Both walkways, measuring 32 metres long and weighing 205 tonnes each, were transported in a single sailing aboard the AAL Singapore, one of AAL’s ‘Mega-MPV’ 31,000 dwt A-Class vessels. The unique four-sectioned, telescopic SPBBs were designed by Spain’s premier seaport, airport and road transport engineering company, Adelte, and were tailor-made to the exact specifications of PortMiami’s Cruise Ship Terminal F and the ships of more than 300m from bow to stern that will be docking there.

Christophe Grammare, Commercial Director at AAL, commented: “What a great way to christen a new partnership. We are delighted how well the team at Marítima Davila and our own team at AAL Europe (Hamburg) cooperated to provide our European customer with a seamless end-to-end service that fully met the time and cost efficiencies they required.

“Even as our infrastructure grows and our capabilities expand, the need to keep customers at the forefront of our service is crucial and all our partners worldwide, like Marítima Davila, share in that commitment.”

Marítima Davila is a leader in the Spanish maritime industry with a network of offices nationwide. Jorge Sánchez, Managing Director at Marítima Davila, said: “The Davila Group is truly delighted to boost its strategic partnership with AAL. The customer’s demands and standards were fulfilled through perfect teamwork combining our own commercial skills and flexibility with the finest engineering and operations, professional crew and specialised fleet. There is already a solid understanding between us and we are confident that this mutual commitment and expertise will lead to great success in the Spanish market.”

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AAL GLOBAL PROJECTS AMBITION BOOSTED WITH EU EXPANSION

Aerial photo of Heavy Load Carrier, AAL KEMBLA (own by AUSTRAL ASIA LINE) along the Straits of Malacca.

AAL’s strategic objective to become carrier of choice for the world’s most dynamic industry projects is boosted this month with a simultaneous and carefully planned expansion of its European team, agency network and service capabilities.

AAL is enhancing its European infrastructure with the expansion of its local team and agency network and development of its global MPV shipping capabilities. Its already strong and well-established Hamburg team is bolstered with the appointment of Eike Muentz to General Manager Europe and Jan-Henrik Heyken to Senior Chartering Manager Europe. Simultaneously, it is expanding its European agency network, with Maritima Davila (Grupo Davila) in Spain, Breakbulk Project Agencies in France (a division of Shipping Agency Service Le Havre) and De Keyser Thornton in Belgium (to cover Benelux). Part of a strategy to position AAL as the ideal partner for emerging global projects controlled out of Europe, this activity comes hot on the back of its ongoing fleet expansion to service new semi-liner trades around the world and a new scheduled liner service between Asia and the Middle East.

Kyriacos Panayides, commented, ‘AAL is currently serving long-term projects around the world for the renewable energy, mining, infrastructure, and off shore oil and gas sectors – to name but a few. The geographic size of our network and fleet capabilities today, is only matched by our commitment to perform on every booking and ambition to grow even further. Europe is still the powerhouse and architect behind much of the project cargo movement worldwide and with the strengthening of our Hamburg team and agency network around Europe, we are sending a clear message of intent to the market.’

Eike Muentz, our newly appointed General Manager of AAL Europe, added, ‘Our strong and well respected team here in Hamburg has doubled in size since the start of the year and we have repaid the faith of our senior management by already winning a number of exciting COAs that are employing several of our ‘mega-sized’ (30,000+ dwt) MPV ships full time with project cargo movements worldwide. Crucially, we are performing on these bookings, providing the capacity, services and commitment of resources needed and the time and cost efficiencies demanded. The MPV sector is small and in recovery, so as we build upon our reputation for trust and delivery, the word quickly spreads.’

He concluded, ‘Jan-Henrik Heyken comes to AAL with 12 years shipping experience and an excellent reputation in the sector. We are also delighted to welcome leading maritime brands as our new exclusive country Agents in important EU markets: Maritima Davila in Spain; Breakbulk Project Agencies in France and De Keyser Thornton (Benelux). The Latter are both part of the French logistics group, NAXCO – a large and fully integrated shipping and logistics provider, founded in 1967.’

‘These new partners are hugely experienced and well-respected in their respective markets and join OceanWise in Italy as integral parts of our growing European Network – boosting our commercial reach and ability to compete across the whole region.’

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AAL FORMALLY THANKED BY SOUTH KOREAN PORT AUTHORITY

28 February 2018, Aboard the AAL Hong Kong: Mr. Nam, the president of the Inchon Port Authority (IPA) welcomed the AAL Hong Kong and her crew into the Port and formally thanked AAL for their ongoing support of this South Korean gateway. The ceremony was part of the Authority’s ongoing drive to promote the Port to foreign and domestic ship-owners. One local TV Broadcaster is even preparing a documentary to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the opening of the Inchon Gateway, to be broadcast on or around 17th March 2018.

Picture courtesy of ‘shippingnewsnet.com’. From right to left: Mr. Kim, Manager of IPA; Mr. Nam, President of IPA; Master of AAL Hong Kong, Mr. Kim, President of AAL KOREA; Mr. Choi, Managing Director of HANJIN INCHEON CONTAINER TERMINAL

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AAL BREAKS RECORDS FOR MAJOR AUSTRALIAN WINDFARM PROJECT

AAL SHIPS 45 OF AUSTRALIA’S LONGEST WINDMILL BLADES ON A SINGLE SAILING INTO ADELAIDE, FOR COLI BREMEN.

AAL has successfully completed three sailings into Adelaide with 45 windmill blades, turbine generators and other related components on each sailing, destined for the new AGL Silverton Windfarm in the Barrier Ranges of New South Wales. Comprising 58 turbines, the windfarm will reduce Co2 emissions by 655,000 tonnes annually and produce 200MW capacity (780,000 MWh of renewable energy) each year – enough power to maintain more than 137,000 Australian homes. At 63 meters in length, the blades carried by AAL are the longest ever to be shipped into Australia.

The Silverton Windfarm sailing is part a larger series of renewable energy cargo shipments into Australia carried out by AAL in partnership with COLI Schiffahrt & Transport GmbH (COLI) in Bremen. The total series comprises seven sailings into the Australian Ports of Adelaide, Newcastle and Kembla and harnesses the carrier’s ‘Mega-MPV’ 31,000dwt A-Class vessels, loading and transporting wind components from production facilities in Germany, Spain and China.

Eike Muentz explained the significance of AAL’s achievement, ‘Not only were these blades the longest ever to be shipped into Australia – a record in itself – but we managed to safely load and stow 45 of them on a single sailing, a first too. This enabled significant economies of scale for our customer and their stakeholders, due to the reduced number of total sailings needed. Safety, cost and time efficiency are primary concerns for our customers and we’ve built a reputation for going the extra mile to deliver. The satisfaction of a job done is even better when we can push the boundaries of what’s been possible before.’

Yahaya Sanusi added, ‘We worked on this project for months, making and revising calculations and stowage plans that could help us maximise cargo intake and economies for our customer. We almost exclusively employed 31,000dwt A-Class vessels on this project. With their exceptional cargo in-take of nearly 40,000cbm and weather deck space of 3,000m2, they were instrumental in enabling us to safely transport this huge number of blades on each sailing.’

Alain Akavi, Managing Director of COLI Bremen, concluded, ‘The success of any global logistics solution hinges upon the smallest detail being legislated for and dealt with and, with our renewable energy customers comprising some of the world’s leading brands and industry pioneers, we can’t afford mistakes. Their expanding global footprint, coupled with the increasing physical size of modern windmill components, places ever-increasing demands on us and our chosen partners to control time and cost efficiencies. Working with a carrier like AAL, that not only has the physical capability to do the job, but that shares our commitment to service integrity and quality, is imperative.’

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AAL & HMM LAUNCH ‘FAR EAST – MIDDLE EAST LINER SERVICE’

Specialist multipurpose carriers and long-standing collaborators, AAL and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), are entering an exciting global cooperation that will see both carriers expand their trade route coverage, sailings frequency, and MPV fleet capacity. The cooperation will create a joint Far East – Middle East MPV Liner Service, served by five MPV vessels and a scheduled bi-monthly rotation. It will also see the expansion of HMM’s services portfolio with global tramp solutions, and semi-liner services provided by AAL. Both carriers will remain independent and promote these expanded services under their own respective brands.

The new Far East – Middle East MPV Liner Service will provide regular and scheduled sailings for breakbulk, project heavy-lift and general cargo shippers with five highly flexible MPV vessels (four 30,100dwt 640-Class from HMM and one 31,000dwt A-Class from AAL) on a 15 and 30-day sailing rotation. The service will connect the Asian markets of China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore with the Middle East via the Persian Gulf and Red Sea routes. Capacity and port coverage will be jointly coordinated, but each carrier will issue separate schedules to their customers, who’ll be able book space on any vessel serving the trade.

Namir Khanbabi, Chartering & Operations Director of AAL, explained: “AAL has run successful MPV liner services between Asia and its key trade partners for more than 20 years, and our expertise in collecting and combining multiple cargo types and parcel sizes on regular scheduled sailings provides significant value and efficiencies for our customers in multiple industry sectors.

“By pooling our resources with HMM, we can each offer more comprehensive service portfolios with improved frequency, capacity, coverage, and economies of scale for our customers. There will be no collaboration on pricing and we will each pursue bookings under our own respective brands, with separate commercial teams and bills of lading.

“The intention is to expand the service to six vessels, with an additional A-Class vessel by 2019. As more global projects become active in 2018 and multipurpose cargo volumes rise – as has been widely forecasted – we aim to be in pole position to competitively service this demand, whatever the cargo and wherever the destination.”

HMM is also expanding its portfolio with a range of global bespoke tramp solutions and semi-liner services – connecting the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia – operated by AAL. These flexible and multiple award-winning services are powered by a fleet of MPV vessels that combine extreme heavy-lift capacity with market-leading cargo intake and are served by AAL’s renowned in-house operations and engineering teams.

Seung-il Park, General Manager of HMM, commented: “We’ve established a leading position with Korea’s dynamic energy and infrastructure industries, operating regular multipurpose sailings between Asia and the West. These same customers can now take advantage of the exciting new services that our cooperation with AAL will bring, without seeing any change to either the team or the process by which they make their current bookings.

He concluded; “There are no immediate plans for a more expanded cooperation but, should there be meaningful opportunities to generate further value for our respective customers through an expanded collaboration, this will be thoroughly reviewed as and when.”

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