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AAL STEALS THE SHOW AT BREAKBULK US 2018!

Breakbulk Americas is North America’s premiere heavy-lift project and breakbulk expo and this year’s event (3-4 October 2018) attracted over 4,700 delegates from all over the region. AAL stole the show with some out-of-box ideas to look even more ‘authentically American’ for its local US customers and to attract a larger delegate audience to its exhibition stand.

Instead of a traditional exhibition stand, AAL hired an authentic 1950s US ‘Airsteam’ trailer for the show. From this converted food-truck, positioned right in the middle of the expo hall, AAL served hot snacks and cold draught beer to its customers and ran a unique customer competition to WIN an authentic 2017 World Series Houston Astros baseball, signed by MVP George Springer. The Competition was linked to an online exit poll created to measure stand visitor perceptions of AAL and its local services. The winner of the limited edition baseball was Joye Runfola, Senior Project Logistics Specialist at Air Liquide and huge Astros fan.

The end result was that AAL had nearly 500 visitors to its stand during the 2-day show – its largest audience to an expo stand anywhere in the world. In addition, the carrier received rave reviews from both the Expo organisers and all attending delegates about its original and compelling presence and presentation.

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AAL CONTINUES US EXPANSION WITH NEW REGIONAL GM

Michael Morland is AAL’s new General Manager of USA. Following the appointment of Marc Schutzbier as Canadian Commercial Manager at the end of 2017, Michael’s appointment continues to strengthen AAL’s North American expansion strategy and the promotion of its growing capacity and portfolio of highly competitive MPV services – comprising tailor-made chartering solutions and scheduled semi-liner sailings that offer US customers regular and seamless ‘around-the-world’ connectivity.

Michael brings over 17 years international experience in the shipping, offshore, and maritime industries. This specifically includes the heavy lift, project cargo and breakbulk market, having previously served in senior executive roles at Global Ocean AS and T.P. Shipping AS where he developed US and UK subsidiaries of both companies. Michael was educated at DPH Technical College & BI Norwegian Business School with Shipping & Finance modules from Copenhagen Business School.

Commenting on his appointment, Morland said, ‘I am very excited by the opportunity to spearhead AAL’s US presence and to promote its expanded shipping capabilities to serve project and commodity cargo customers with highly competitive services into and out of the Americas via both the Pacific and Atlantic trade routes.

‘AAL has been serving the US market for many years and we intend to reinforce our relationships with local shippers looking for trusted MPV options and by drawing on AAL’s world-class fleet, in-house technical expertise and unrivalled global reputation for cargo care and customer service.’

Kyriacos Panayides, Managing Director of AAL commented, “Michael has an excellent reputation in the North American market and experience in Houston, as well as other key US locations. He is highly driven and focused and fits perfectly with AAL’s philosophy of building long-term relationships with customers.’

He concluded, ‘We see significant opportunity for the world-class capabilities that AAL brings to the US market. The enhancement of our North America team with Michael’s appointment is a statement of our commitment to invest in and grow our North American operations and to support our local customers.’

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AAL USES ‘VACULIFT’ TECHNOLOGY, IN AUSSIE FIRST!

AAL has announced the successful deployment for the first time in Australia of multi-lift ‘vacuum pad’ units, used in the discharge of pipes with its partner Qube. The cargo, which comprised 24,996 steel coated pipes units (18m in length each and weighing a total of 13,386t),was loaded in Baoshan China and discharged in Darwin, via AAL’s global tramp and chartering service and its S-Class multipurpose heavy lift vessel, the AAL Bangkok (19,000dwt).

This was the first time that this lifting technology, which uses multiple vacuum pads to attach and lift the pipes, has been deployed in an Australian port. The cargo was delivered by AAL to Darwin for the Bao Australia pipeline, for which Qube has been contracted for cargo discharge and landside operations for the Tanami Gas Pipeline Project.

Traditionally, pipeline handling operations are handled by ‘hooking up’ the pipe during vessel discharge. Landside activity has also typically harnessed crane and pipe grapling hooks for handling. However AAL and Qube, Australia’s largest integrated provider of import and export logistics services, deployed the use of these innovative multi-lift vacuum units for the entire discharge operation in Darwin.

Nicola Pacifico commented, ‘The multi-lift vacuum units were successfully commissioned and operational throughout the operation, while maintaining zero lost time injuries (LTI) and reducing operational safety risks, by eliminating the use of hooks. Data analysed before, during, and after the operation demonstrated increased productivity, improved risk mitigation and ultimately cost savings that could be passed down to our customers. The use of this technology also added to the quality of the operation, thanks to the improved and less abrasive handling which protected the integrity of the pipeline coating.

Namir Khanbabi added, “At AAL, we’ve always been keen to explore new innovations that can generate greater efficiency and productivity in our operations, as well as partnering with likeminded partners, such as Qube, who share our commitment to driving up safety and quality standards. Qube have consistently showcased operational excellence, and this initiative, in partnership with AAL’s engineering teams, crews and vessels, has demonstrated why we always go the extra mile to deliver service excellence and optimised cost savings for our shippers.”

In conclusion Dean Wells, General Commercial Manager at Qube, said, “We strive to continuously implement innovative practices, from stevedoring operations to haulage to remote locations, for our customers in the pipeline industry. We have long been seeking a better solution for pipeline handling that would improve productivity, quality and safety, compared to the traditional use of hooks. Never before seen in Australia, this multi-lift vacuum technology delivers a major step-change in pipeline handling operations and Qube is looking forward to partnering with AAL on many more pipeline projects into the future.”

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