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AAL TRANSPORTS 20,000FRT OF IRON ORE RECLAIMER COMPONENTS FOR NMT IN AUSTRALIA

AAL’s scheduled monthly ‘Asia to Australia West Coast Liner Service’ (AUWC) recently provided the perfect solution for global project logistics provider NMT and its client, industrial engineering giant Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. The operation involved the transport of 20,000 freight tonnes of fabricated break-bulk reclaimer components from Henderson to Port Hedland in Western Australia – infrastructure that will uplift the port capacity of an iron ore mining facility in Nelson Point. The lift, stowage and transport of these units – the largest of which was the bucketwheel boom at just under 65 metres long – was undertaken by the crew of the AAL Nanjing, working in close cooperation with AAL’s transport engineers who had been planning the operation since the start of the year.

AAL’s Head of Transport Engineering, Nicola Pacifico explained, ‘Due to the large and unconventional size of the reclaimer components, which covered a total area on the vessel of more than 1,800 square meters, the lifting and stowage challenges were significant. The seven-month design and planning period for the operation involved AAL working alongside NMT and Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions’ project management team, engaged in weekly online meetings from early February. The collaboration proved successful, and the cargo was safely discharged in Port Hedland on schedule for onward transport to Nelson Point, where it will be used in the handling of iron ore.’

Jayme Bailey, Senior Project Manager at NMT Global Project Logistics, stated ‘our collaborative, team-oriented and hands-on approach proved a winning recipe for all stakeholders on this important project. Buy-in from our trusted service providers and a shared willingness to go the extra mile ensured the project was executed without issue, on-time and more importantly, on budget.’

Frank Mueller, General Manager of AAL Australia concluded, ‘We are delighted to continue our strong track record for NMT and Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, both of whom we are proud to have worked with in the past on domestic industrial projects across Australia.

‘The local multipurpose shipping market is still challenging since COVID, with port disruptions and labour issues affecting schedules and normal operations. The Australian project sector itself has also experienced upheaval and will continue to weather difficult external conditions until a possible peak of investment of $A95 billion per annum in planned infrastructure between 2023-24 and 2025-26. We will therefore continue to ensure our services within the sector remain consistent and keep delivering for our customers despite any and all market challenges.’

THE ADDITION OF THAILAND & SINGAPORE BOOSTS SEA COVERAGE ON AAL’S ‘ASIA TO WEST COAST AUSTRALIA LINER SERVICE’ (AUWC)

Increasing its coverage of key Southeast Asian Markets, AAL Shipping (AAL) is adding Thailand and Singapore to is long-standing Asia to West Coast Australia Liner service (AUWC). 

The service was also recently bolstered with the addition of a third vessel – a 19,000dwt heavy lift multipurpose ship, the S-Class AAL Bangkok. This additional tonnage will not only increase cargo capacity but also enable a 25-day frequency on the service – ensuring that AAL customers continue to enjoy the most comprehensive and reliable scheduled breakbulk service from Asia into Western Australia. 

The new port calls will commence January 2023 with the AAL Gunsan voyage 23001, as reflected on AAL’s weekly liner service schedule available here: Sailings & Schedules – AAL (aalshipping.com)

For queries or freight inquiries, please contact us today at: Chartering@aalshipping.com

AAL HEADLINES SEAHORSE GLOBAL TRANSPORT JOURNALIST AWARDS 2022

AAL was the proud headline sponsor of the world’s top transport journalist awards, held in London on Wednesday 7th December 2022. The Seahorse Freight Association Journalist Awards, in partnership with AAL Shipping, celebrate the best journalism in supply chain, logistics, and transport, as well as recognising individuals who have gone above and beyond to represent the industry.

In front of an audience of over 200 top journalists from around the world, our company not only helped to organise the event, but opened the awards on the night with a speech from John Pittalis and presented the ‘Multipurpose Cargo Journalist of the Year 2022’ award to Sophie Barnes of HLPFI (collecting on behalf magazine Editor, Dave Kershaw). AAL’s ties to these awards go back to 2015.

Winners of the judged awards each received a cash prize, as well as being recognised on the night. The Seahorse Awards are open globally to any reporter, freelancer, or editor in the industry and aim to celebrate great journalism. The 12 award categories included: Journalist of the Year; Maritime Journalist of the Year; Supply Chain Journalist of the Year; Multipurpose Cargo Logistics Journalist of the Year; and Lifetime Achievement.

AUSTRALIA’S TALLEST TURBINE, CARE OF AAL!

Renewable energy developer RES Australia has reached a major milestone in the construction of the 180MW Dulacca wind farm in Queensland’s southwest, with the installation of the last of the project’s 43 turbines – the components of which were loaded in China and shipped to the site by AAL Shipping (AAL).

RES has marked the occasion with a snapshot of the final huge turbine standing in place at the project site in Queensland’s Western Downs region. The V150-4.2MW wind turbines, supplied and installed by Vestas and carried by AAL, are said to be the tallest installed in Australia, at nearly 250 metres from base to tip.  RES says construction of the project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023.

Between February and July 2022, AAL operated a series of shipments between China and Brisbane to transport heavy lift and project cargo components for the 181MW Dulacca Wind Farm. Employed by multiple global logistics companies, AAL’s shipments comprised all 43 Vestas wind turbines (towers and blades), transformers, electrical cables and other – a total of close to 375,000 freight tonnes (FRT) of cargo.

Andrew Mangan, Chartering Manager at AAL commented, ‘The shipments into Brisbane for Dulacca were loaded in several Chinese ports including Tianjin, Taicang and Yangzhou and we worked with multiple logistics companies in their execution, each with their own specific timeline and cargo requirements. We therefore utilised two different vessel classes on the project, our ‘mega-size’ 31,000 deadweight (DWT) A-Class and the more compact 19,000 DWT S-Class – to manage both large and small shipment sizes with as much efficiency and economy of scale for our customers as possible.’

Chris Yabsley, Chartering Manager at AAL Australia, added, ‘The wind farm will generate enough clean energy to power 124,000 homes and inject over AUD 400m into the local economy. The award of this project was a welcome recognition of AAL’s long-standing ‘Asia – Australia’ trade lane and expertise, which has served customers with a regular scheduled service for over 27 years. We are proud to be part of such an important local project and help to expand the use of sustainable green energy solutions in the country.’

AAL WINS BIG AT AUS SHIPPING AWARDS 2022

The pair were recognised in the Bulk & Specialised Shipping category for their partnership on a tug recovery operation in Devonport, Tasmania, this year

Singapore, 18 November 2022: AAL Shipping (AAL) has been named joint winner in the DCN Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry awards 2022, together with partner United Salvage, for their collaboration on the complex retrieval of two sunken tugs from the Mersey River in Devonport, Tasmania.

The Bulk & Specialised Shipping trophy was given in recognition of the pair’s combined efforts in recovering the tugs, weighing 420 tonnes and 455 tonnes respectively, which had been sunk by a cement carrier at the start of the year.

AAL’s 31,000DWT 700-tonne heavy lift vessel, the AAL Melbourne, was enlisted for the lifting operation and onward shipment of the tugs to Brisbane after previous salvage attempts were unsuccessful.

Following months of careful planning and modelling, and collaboration with key stakeholders including United Salvage, TasPorts, and cargo insurers, the recovery was completed in August.

Guests at the Awards, held in Melbourne last week, heard that in January 2022 two tugs in the port of Devonport were sunk after being hit by a cement carrier, creating a major environmental and pollution hazard, as well as blocking normal port operations and vessel movement.

AAL Shipping’s heavy lift vessel the AAL Melbourne – and United Salvage as the salvage and environmental support specialist – worked in tandem with various stakeholders including TasPorts to complete an intensive oil spill recovery followed by a complex salvage operation of the two sunken tugs.

“This win recognises the impressive and determined combined efforts of AAL and United Salvage in completing one of the Australia’s most complex salvage operations,” said Frank Mueller, General Manager, AAL Australia.

“United Salvage originally planned to use a floating crane and barge to recover these tugs, however, once we demonstrated that our A-Class vessel could not only recover the tugs but also transport them back up the East Coast for delivery to Brisbane, it was clear that AAL would be the perfect partner.”

The award was accepted by Drew Shannon, Managing Director, United Salvage, Melwyn Noronha, Chief Executive Officer of Shipping Australia and one of the judges on the panel during the awards ceremony in Melbourne, Australia.

The Bulk & Specialised Shipping award is open to all sectors involved in the process chain that handle bulk, breakbulk and project heavy lift cargoes.

AAL LIFTS SUNKEN TUGS FROM MERSEY RIVER

AAL Shipping (AAL) has undertaken a salvage operation to remove two tugs from the Mersey River in Devonport on the north-west coast of Tasmania that had been sunk by a cement carrier in January. Chosen for the job was the 31,000DWT 700 tonne heavy lift vessel, the AAL Melbourne, and involved the lifting of the tugs and their onward shipment along the East Coast to Brisbane. New South Wales based emergency response, salvage and environmental support specialist, United Salvage, engaged AAL to supply a vessel from its longstanding ‘Asia to Australia East Coast Liner Service’.

The first tug, the 420 tonne York Cove was carefully pulled out of the Mersey on Sunday 7th August by the AAL Melbourne using her two port-mounted cranes working in tandem – the tug having had large holes cut into her hull to allow trapped water and sediment to drain. The second tug, the 455 tonne Campbell Cove, was recovered and loaded onto the AAL Melbourne a few days later. Both tugs were securely lashed to the weather deck of the ‘mega size’ vessel in preparation for their onward shipment to Brisbane and utilising specifically designed cradles loaded previously in Burnie.

Chris Yabsley, Chartering Manager at AAL Australia commented, ‘United Salvage originally planned to use a floating crane and barge to recover these tugs. However, once we demonstrated that our A-Class vessel could not only recover the tugs but also transport them back up the East Coast for delivery to Brisbane, it was clear that AAL would be the perfect partner.’

Nicola Pacifico, Head of Transport Engineering at AAL, explained, ‘The recovery was carefully planned and modelled over several months and involved collaboration with several key stakeholders including United Salvage, TasPorts and cargo insurers. Even the Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) was required to confirm our calculations with our ship’s class (DNV).

Chris Yabsley
Chartering Manager
(AAL Australia)

DISASSEMBLED BERTH OPERATION IN AUS

AAL Shipping (AAL) successfully collaborated on the disassembly of Berth 2 at Hay Point Coal Terminal in Queensland and its subsequent shipment to Henderson, Western Australia for disposal. Comprising seven packages with a total weight of 1,412MT / 8,929CBM, the cargo was moved in a single sailing onboard the 19,000 deadweight S-Class 700 tonne max heavy lift vessel, the AAL Fremantle, for global logistics provider, Geodis Australia.

Nicola Pacifico, Head of Transport Engineering at AAL explained, ‘All aspects of the loading operation were extensively evaluated and planned – starting with the mooring of the AAL Fremantle to the old Berth itself where she was heavily exposed to wind, waves, current, tide and vessel motion. These conditions needed to be factored into the lifting methodology along with load spreading and cargo sea fastening. Having multiple contractors and authorities working simultaneously required the development of complex risk assessments and mitigation, emergency procedures and a coordination matrix to ensure that every stage was delivered to highest safety standards.’

‘Due to the complex nature of the lifting operation, we sent a Project Engineer and Cargo Superintendent from Singapore to oversee the loading and stowage operation – monitoring works throughout the unpredictable weather conditions we faced. The level of engineering and operational oversight that AAL provided was not only crucial to reducing risk, down-time, and operational costs, but provided our customer and stakeholders a high level of reassurance of a positive outcome – which we ultimately delivered.’

Ben Williams, Project Manager of Project Logistics at Geodis Australia, added, ‘This was a complex and demanding project shipment and required a huge effort from Geodis and AAL’s team, collaborating to execute safely and efficiently. Transporting heavy lift berth and shiploader components from Hay Point to Henderson required regular pre-planning meetings – not to mention constant onsite dialogue with AAL representatives who travelled from Singapore to oversee works. It was the first time that a heavy lift vessel had performed such an operation there and AAL’s solution was executed flawlessly.’

AAL EXPANSION RENDERS 90% FLEET CONTROL

First photo: 25,800 dwt ‘G-Class’ vessel.
Second photo: 33,000 dwt ‘W-Class’ vessel.

AAL Shipping (AAL) has added further vessels to its owned multipurpose cargo vessel (MPV) fleet. This month saw the delivery of the 2010 ‘AAL Gunsan’ (ex-BBC America) and her sister vessel, the 2009 ‘AAL Geelong’ (ex-BBC Valparaiso) – the latter taken over a few months ago. These are the last of four 25,800 deadweight (DWT) multipurpose heavy lift sister vessels (classified by AAL as G-class) secured through an acquisition transaction penned back in 2021 by AAL / Schoeller Holdings Group.

During the Summer, the AAL / Schoeller Holdings Group further acquired the ‘AAL Moon’ – a 33,000 DWT multipurpose vessel built in 2010 (classified by AAL as W-Class) and having previously served within the AAL fleet under commercial management since 2017.

Kyriacos Panayides, CEO of AAL, explained, ‘These acquisitions are perfectly in line with our continued fleet strategy to employ large MPVs which, through their significant cargo intake volumes, offer our shippers greater economies of scale on every sailing. Indeed, AAL is one of the leading ‘large tonnage’ MPV operators in the market.’

He added, ‘They also expand our multipurpose operating fleet to 864,800dwt, of which 90% is now fully controlled by AAL / Schoeller Holdings Group. This authority that AAL has over its operating fleet is important to the long-term sustainable expansion and deployment of our vessels; the strengthening of our global service model; and the frequency and flexibility demanded by our diverse global customer base. The vessels are being positioned across the world, in service of our monthly liner, regular trade lane and tramp chartering operations.’

Despite a challenging 18 months of global market upheaval due to COVID, the container boom and geo-political unrest, AAL has remained steadfast in support of its traditional breakbulk and multipurpose cargo customers – adding tonnage to, and improving frequency on, its core global trade lanes between the Americas, Africa, Europe, Middle East, India, Asia, and Oceania. In 2022, AAL has been recognized for its service by the multipurpose shipping community through two prestigious global carrier awards – ‘Ship Operator of the Year 2022’ at the Heavy Lift Awards and ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’ at the AFLAS Awards.

AAL AMERICAS BOOSTS TEAM & LOCAL SERVICE

AAL is strengthening its Americas division with several appointments to key positions over the past few months. These comprise the promotion of Henrik Hansen to General Manager; recruitment of highly experienced local MPP commercial executive, Jacqueline Berry to Sales Manager; elevation of Christian Johnson to Regional Operations Manager and hiring of Texas A&M University Maritime Administration graduate, Grant Leal, as Voyage Operator. These latest appointments will boost the US team’s service capability, as it handles regular sailings and cargoes through the region.

Newly appointed General Manager, Henrik Hansen, explained, ‘The Americas is an important market for AAL and our global customer base, and we have had a presence in the region for almost a decade. Today, we are operating regular sailings between the US, Europe and Asia and the reputation of AAL amongst local customers who represent multiple industry sectors has grown exponentially, and we have repaid their trust with a consistent multipurpose cargo service through the region, despite all market challenges.’

Felix Schoeller, Commercial Director of AAL added, ‘Having one of the most advanced fleets in the breakbulk and project heavy lift sector is all well and good, but it needs to be managed and operated by top people at every level. This year, AAL has won the sector’s top global carrier awards – given primarily by our peers for unrelenting commitment to service. Our excellent US team reflects that charter, to being the very best we can be and going the extra mile for our customers and partners.’

He concluded, ‘Only last month, we attended Breakbulk Americas 2022 in Houston and were delighted to engage with so many of our customers and contacts. We are committed to the region for the long term and are looking forward to developing this market further.’

AAL CROWNED ‘SHIP OPERATOR OF THE YEAR​​​​ 2022′

AAL Shipping (AAL) was named the ‘Ship Operator of the Year’ at the annual Heavy Lift and Project Forwarding International (HLPFI) Awards night, held in Hamburg, Germany on Thursday 22nd September.

AAL has remained committed to its project cargo customers over the past year, rerouting vessels, and adding capacity to its busiest services to bring shippers more choice and regularity.

‘We’re committed to meeting the needs of our customers, and to be recognised with this award for a second time is testament to our dedication in this endeavour,” said John Pittalis, Marketing & Communications Manager, AAL. ‘We strive to be the carrier of choice for majors in multiple industry sectors, as we push forward with projects to not only enhance our service but also to drive the sustainability of our operations for the benefit of the entire sector.’

Judges were looking for a carrier that has demonstrated its ability to efficiently support the movement by sea of heavy and oversize project cargoes over the past 12 months, demonstrating in particular the ability to adapt to challenging market conditions and the changing needs of customers. During this time, AAL continued to prioritise breakbulk and project customers despite the sharp growth in the container market within the MPP sector.

The last 12 months has also seen AAL acquire more than eight second-hand vessels and order six 32,000 dwt heavy lift ‘Super B-Class’ vessels, designed by its in-house engineers. The ‘Super B-Class’ vessels break new ground in MPP ship design and technologies, to optimise seafarer wellbeing as well cargo intake, while also running on dual-fuel engines, ready to harness new, greener fuels and support AAL’s charter to be a frontrunner for more sustainable shipping solutions.

See also AAL TRIUMPHS AGAIN AT 2022 AFLAS AWARDS!

MERCHANT SHIPPING APPOINTED COMMERCIAL REP INDIA

AAL Shipping (AAL) has appointed Mumbai-based shipping company, Merchant Shipping Services PVT Ltd., to be its exclusive commercial agency representative in India – a move that will harness yet further the cargo opportunities available to local shippers through its expanding ‘Europe – Middle East/India – Asia Monthly Liner Service’ (EUMEIA) andregular trade lanes connecting India with the rest of the world. Established in 1996, Merchant Shipping is managed by a team of shipping professionals with a strong focus on global trade, delivering pan India multipurpose and project heavy lift cargo operations through a network of offices covering over 80 port & ICD locations across the region. 

Christophe Grammare, AAL’s Managing Director, explained the rationale and timing of this move for the award-winning project heavy lift carrier, ‘India is one of the world’s fastest growing major economies and leads the way with 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) allowance in multiple industry sectors. It is on an accelerated growth trajectory with 100 smart cities being built today, 100 new airports by 2035 and implementation of the world’s largest renewable energy expansion program. Its burgeoning project cargo demands are well served by our EUMEIA monthly liner service, trade lane sailings east and westbound through the region and sustainable fleet expansion programme that combine to deliver the market with regularity of sailings and dependability of service.

He added, ‘Merchant Shipping has an excellent shipping pedigree; knows the local sector we serve and its primary stakeholders well and is aligned with AAL’s commercial ambitions for the Indian market. We are looking forward to a highly successful cooperation.’

Mukesh Oza, Group President & CEO of the Samsara Group, India – parent company of Merchant Shipping – expressed his gratitude to AAL’s Management, ‘we are honoured to represent AAL in India through a dedicated professional team at Merchant Shipping that will effectively contribute to AAL’s Success as a prominent partner in India’s booming economy, and exponential growth within the infrastructure and project cargo sectors.’

AAL TRIUMPHS AGAIN AT 2022 AFLAS AWARDS!

AAL Shipping (AAL), one of the world’s leading global breakbulk and project heavy lift operators, has been named ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’ at the 2022 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards, held in Hong Kong on Wednesday 7 September.

The AFLAS Awards are a celebration of Asia’s freight, logistics and supply chain industry, and AAL beat off intense competition from the global sector’s leading carriers to win the award for a consecutive year. The award win follows a successful year for AAL in a project cargo market that has endured its share of ebs and flows. Over the last 12 months, AAL has been optimising its service model to adapt to changing market conditions and resulting in a number of significant milestones such as trade lane expansion, record-breaking shipments, sustainable fleet expansion, and the strenthening of its presence and sailings regularity in core global markets including Asia.

Felix Schoeller, Commercial Director of AAL, commented: ‘We are honoured to have won this award. To lift your customer service to the highest level is a hard process, demanding commitment and investment across all aspects of the organisation. To maintain such a reputable status for consecutive years truly reflects an outstanding achievement from all of AAL’s Asia-based offices, supported by our global operations. Noteworthy is that such performance has been delivered in the midst of challenging times for the Asia market, characterised by highs and lows for the local shipping sector and residual fall-out from the global COVID pandemic still being dealt with.’

Jack Zhou, AAL’s General Manager and Chief Representative in China, added: ‘AAL has been extensively involved in the Asian project cargo market for almost three decades and, as we’ve grown our local presence, 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 we accept this award on behalf of the whole company.’