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April 2020 - AAL ">

AAL DELIVERS 1,800mt OF GIANT JIB CRANES TO DUBAI

The AAL Melbourne recently loaded two cranes and their components weighing just over 1,800 mt in total in Taicang, for onward transport to Jebel Ali. The 42m high main modules towered over the 31,000 dwt mega-size vessel and, lit up in the evening, took-on an imposing resemblance to two Martian tripods from H.G. Wells ‘War of the Worlds’.

Manufactured in China by global supplier of heavy lifting and handling equipment, Nantong Rainbow Heavy Machineries Co. ltd., the two ‘jib cranes’ were loaded by the mega-size A-Class HL MPV, the AAL Melbourne in Taicang. They were then discharged in Jebel Ali, for deployment at the DP World’s Shipyard in Dubai – the largest facility of its kind in the Middle East, which handles an approximate 350 vessels a year, mostly ultra and very large crude carriers.

Jack Zhou, General Manager of AAL China – the office responsible for booking the cargo – said, ‘The crane components comprised just under 20 big units, the largest of which weighed over 550mt and measuring 115m long. Some we loaded from the wharf and others from a floating barge. They were stowed both in under-deck holds and on the weather deck. Added to this, we received unexpected last minute instructions and changes from the charterer, but were able to safely complete loading to an extremely tight and unmovable loading deadline.’

Nicola Pacifico, Head of AAL Transport Engineering – the function responsible for planning the loading, stowage and discharge operations – explained, ‘Even with a vessel providing 40,000cbm stowage capacity, space was extremely tight on this project. The two main structures had to be secured on specially laid rails. One of these came to within 20 cm of our own ship’s crane. This is very close, as decks are rarely even and such tolerances are unusual. If at any point we thought they might touch we would have had to discharge the structure, move the rails and reload again.’

He added, ‘This is the type of situation where engineering precision and accuracy resonate most. Had we not planned so carefully for the potential risks involved and matched these perfectly against the capabilities of the vessel and skill of the crew, the safety and timing of the entire operation could have been compromised and when you’re dealing with extremely large, heavy and highly valuable project cargo, there is no room for error.’

AAL’s ‘GET ONBOARD!’ CAMPAIGN OFFERS CHARITIES FREE CARRIAGE

AAL is offering cargo transport, free of freight charge, to registered charities worldwide needing to transport vital goods and equipment internationally and suffering the financial effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic and mounting economic pressure on charities to maintain their vital support of worthy causes, AAL – celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – is offering these organisations cargo transport on its global fleet to and from any port on its scheduled sailings, free of freight charge. AAL’s ‘Get Onboard!’ CSR initiative is being launched today for an indefinite period and will consider any registered charity worldwide regardless of the chosen cause.

Kyriacos Panayides, Managing Director of AAL, explained, ‘The virus pandemic has taken its toll on not just the shipping sector but businesses and organisations everywhere – devastating supply chains and pressuring financial performance. This is especially true of charities, who rely on the goodwill of individual and institutional donors to get help. Unfortunately, widespread job losses, social distancing regulations and the global economic downturn means they are losing much needed support and revenue.  This, in turn, hurts the beneficiaries of their work the most.’

He added, ‘2020 is our 25th anniversary year and we unanimously agreed to harness this milestone to give something back to the communities that we serve.  Get Onboard! is open to any registered charity – childrens’, environmental, health & disability, welfare and hunger / poverty, community service, educational, animal protection etc. We have a fleet of multipurpose heavy lift ships operating non-stop and carrying cargo between large and small ports in key markets across the world – Oceania, Asia, India, Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas. Subject to terms and conditions being met, we will carry containerised (SOC) cargo free of freight charge no matter how long the journey. It’s our privilege to try and help.’ 

Get Onboard! is being officially launched today and AAL will be circulating details and terms & conditions to registered charitable organisation databases and promoting the initiative online via social media. It is also harnessing the group email aal@aalshipping.com, through which interested charities can obtain more information and be guided through the process.