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News & Events

AAL WINS ‘BEST SHIPPING LINE 2019’ AT HEAVY LIFT AWARDS

Tuesday 14 October in Antwerp: AAL beats off stiff competition from the world’s top carriers to WIN top honors ‘Shipping Line of the Year 2019’ at the inaugural Heavy Lift Awards, organised by HLPFI. Congratulations to everyone involved in a great night for the company and to all those working for AAL worldwide, on land and sea!

This latest honour for AAL comes in the same year that we beat stiff competition to retain the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Award (AFLAS), ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’, that was presented in Hong Kong.

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AAL BOOSTS GLOBAL PRESENCE WITH ANOTHER 133,000 DWT

Additional W-Class vessels join AAL’s fleet, representing 133,000 dwt / 156,000 cbm of additional capacity for its customers and further differentiating the carrier’s niche project cargo offering and strong position within the MPP sector.

Specialist breakbulk and project heavy lift carrier AAL is expanding its multipurpose fleet with the addition of a number of modern and highly adaptive Warnow-Class (W-Class) 33,271 dwt ‘mega-size’ vessels.  Representing 133,000 dwt / 156,000 cbm of additional capacity for AAL’s customers, the new vessels boost AAL’s operating tonnage to just shy of 740,000 dwt (excluding short term time charters) and strengthen its unique global customer offering and position as one of the sector’s largest and most service-driven carriers.

The vessels, four in total, will join AAL’s fleet from October and, alongside additional W-Class tonnage already employed in the fleet and multiple other MPV classes, they will boost the carrier’s global coverage, providing additional capacity on such important trades as: Asia – Australia; Asia – Middle East –  Europe; and Asia – North America.

Large, modern and highly flexible, the W-Class perfectly complements AAL’s fleet mix strategy and its customers’ needs with their ability to accommodate multiple cargo types simultaneously – project cargo, breakbulk and dry bulk commodities – with five cargo holds (three with tweendecks) and a significant individual cargo in-take of 39,000 cbm.

This latest fleet expansion news comes on the eve of AAL’s 25-year anniversary and is a clear statement of intent to further strengthen its global trade coverage and already renowned niche market positioning, adding to its already varied fleet profile with ‘mega-size’ tonnage that offers shippers significant cargo intake volumes and economies of scale on every sailing.

AAL’s Managing Director Kyriacos Panayides explained, ‘We’ve invested heavily in developing a global infrastructure, differentiated modern fleet profile and team of professionals worldwide – experts in chartering, commercial support, operations and engineering – that can put us in pole position over other carriers to deliver on the demands of today’s global project industry.

‘Despite being in a position to cater for the long or short-term employment demands of any major project worldwide, we retain an appetite for further sustainable growth and to ensure that our service remains competitive and differentiated at every level of our operations.’

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AAL ‘LIFTS’ ITS CUSTOMER SERVICE TO ANOTHER LEVEL WITH SEDNA

September 10, 2019: AAL, one of the world’s largest and most trusted breakbulk and project heavy lift operators, has selected SEDNA as its company-wide email solution and team collaboration platform. By adopting SEDNA, AAL has consolidated multiple systems into a single, cloud-based technology and migrated the innovative system across its entire office network in Asia, Europe, Americas, Oceania and Middle East.

A global service provider with 25 years’ experience, AAL recognises that people are its most important asset and that clear and efficient communication between stakeholders is critical. The company has a mandate to leverage modern hardware, advanced systems and innovative technology wherever required to help meet customer demand and achieve its corporate vision.

Christophe Grammare, AAL’s Commercial Director explained, “Before SEDNA, AAL operated multiple platforms to deal with incoming email and convert cargo enquiries into processable data. We were using two email systems concurrently and an on-premise solution that was proving inefficient in keeping-up with our growth curve and volume of inquiries we were handling daily.”

He added, “We were in the market for a single collaborative email solution and became aware of SEDNA, knowing other industry stakeholders already using the system. We wanted a harmonised and adaptable cloud-based system that could process and archive large quantities of email in an efficient, organised manner and help us optimise our customer response times and overall service efficiency.”

Grammare highlighted three features that set SEDNA apart, “The first, is the system’s ability to share email and related data between teams without individuals having to physically forward anything. The second, is that it automatically tracks and displays who’s read and commented on an email – significantly improving transparency within a fast-moving group email environment.  The third, is its email tagging algorithm – tailormade for AAL – that enables immediate identification, fast processing and retrieval of email.”

Dan James, Product Director at SEDNA, emphasised the company’s focus on developing a platform that helps teams work better together. “In our experience, Chartering and Operations teams find traditional email systems lack the functionality and processing capability to efficiently distill and disseminate large volumes of data to complete tasks or provide deeper insights into the performance of individuals. Our goal is to provide a solution that enables teams within large global organisations like AAL to stay connected and optimise their productivity.”

Mr. Grammare concluded, “AAL is the multipurpose sector’s most awarded carrier and a focus on service quality at every level of the organisation is what sets us apart. In SEDNA, we’ve found a partner that shares that philosophy and have been impressed by its ability to adapt and develop in response to our demands.”

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HANDLING GIANT PRESSURE VESSEL PROVES NO PRESSURE FOR AAL

September 2019 saw project heavy lift carrier AAL complete the successful handling and transport of an impressive cargo of South Korean-engineered petrochemical plant components, from Pyeongtaek to Map Ta Phut. The units are to be installed at one of Thailand’s largest integrated producers of olefins and polyolefins – for industries like agriculture, automotive, building & infrastructure and medical – and comprised over 15,000cbm of individual items, the largest of which was a pressure vessel measuring 86 metres in length and weighing close to 360mt.

The heavy lift vessel involved was one of AAL’s S-Class fleet (19,000dwt and featuring a 700t max lift), the AAL Dampier. The cargo operation proved a truly ‘international’ exercise for AAL and testament to its award-winning service and accredited internal systems and communications. The cargo was booked by its chartering desk in Korea, operated by its Australia Office and engineered and supervised by its team in Singapore.

AAL is the multipurpose sector’s most awarded carrier and provides worldwide project heavy lift, breakbulk and dry bulk solutions – both tramp chartering and scheduled liner services – to the world’s most dynamic industries, including petrochemical, oil and gas, energy, infrastructure and mining. Its fleet is one of the sector’s largest and youngest and comprises specialist MPVs of multiple sizes, with a number of large 30,000+dwt ‘mega-size’ vessels that offer AAL’s shippers significant cargo intake volumes and economies of scale on each sailing.

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AAL IS ‘TOP CARRIER’ FINALIST AT GFA 2019. VOTE FOR US!

AAL is a finalist in the ‘Breakbulk Operator of the Year’ category at this year’s GFA.

We take great pride in being one of the multipurpose sector’s most trusted operators, keeping our customers and partners at the heart of all our operations.

We’d be grateful for your vote.

Voting ends September 20th 2019. VOTE FOR AAL HERE.

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ANNOUNCEMENT – IMO 2020 SULPHUR CAP

AAL TO BE FULLY COMPLIANT WITH NEW IMO 2020 LOW SULPHUR REGULATION BY END OF 2019

With widespread discussion and reporting about the IMO 2020 ‘Sulphur Cap’ regulation, coming into effect January 1st2020, we would like to clarify our position and how we plan to move forward over the coming weeks and months to fully prepare ourselves and our customers for this important and long-awaited milestone in our sector’s history.

The purpose of the new regulation is to reduce Sulphur Oxide (SOx) levels produced across the entire shipping industry, resulting in more sustainable air quality conditions for those environments in which we operate every day, particularly coastal and port communities.  AAL has served the multipurpose heavy lift sector for 25 years and we welcome the positive global impact it will have on our environment and the health of current and future generations. 

Over the past year, we’ve been researching the options available and decided that migration to the use of low sulphur fuel (fuel with sulphur content of 0.5% or less and fully compliant with the IMO legislation) will best meet the interests of the customers, trades and industries we service globally. This fuel comprises variants such as Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (LSFO), Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (ULSFO) and Low Sulphur Marine Gasoil (LS-MGO), all currently more expensive than standard marine fuel. In this respect, not only will adoption of same have profound implications for our planet, but also on the economics of our daily operations.

In the multipurpose shipping sector, we know well that one size does not fit all. Therefore, in consideration of the wide variety of cargo and trades that we handle and manage worldwide, we will be implementing various calculation methodologies to fairly share the increased cost of low sulphur fuel usage with our customers. These measures will come into effect from September 1st 2019, as we start the arduous task of preparing our fleet for low sulphur fuel and begin bunkering same with the intent of being fully compliant with the IMO regulation by year’s end. 

In the meantime, we thank you for your continued support and for joining AAL in helping to deliver a new era of sustainable shipping for our industry and the global community.

Regards

AAL Management team

 

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AAL LAUNCHES REGULAR ‘EUROPE – FAR EAST’ SERVICE

AAL Europe has formally launched a ‘Europe – Far East Service’, to offer regular sailings and highly flexible port calls between Northern Europe (ARA range and the Baltic region), Middle East, South East Asia and over to the Far East. The service’s backbone will be the carrier’s owned and highly flexible 19,000 dwt S-Class heavy lift vessels (700 t max lift) and complemented by ad-hoc sailings of its A-Class and W-Class mpv fleet, to provide customers the assurance of frequent sailings and tonnage options.

Eike Muentz, AAL Europe’s General Manager commented, ‘We have actually been operating S-Class and other vessel sizes on the trade between Europe and Asia since the start of the year and have built-up the sustainable cargo flow and broad market interest to justify employing more S-Class vessels permanently on the trade. With multiple cargo stowage configurations on deck and under (in secure holds) a key feature of the S-Class design – along with a significant 700 t max lift – we can accommodate a huge variety of cargo types from large and heavy project cargo, to breakbulk, steel and dry bulk commodities and all at the same time.’

He added, ‘The default routing from Europe will be via the Med, but we can also sail via West Africa or PG / Middle East depending on cargo demand. Our aim is to establish monthly calls from Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and one or two additional loading ports in the Med. When called upon we can also draw upon any of the other vessel classes within our fleet, even the ‘mega size’ heavy lift A-Class (31,000 dwt) and W-Class (33,000 dwt).’

For more details about this service or any other within our portfolio, please contact your local or most convenient AAL office.

Click here to download Europe-Far East Service map.

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AAL WINS TOP ASIAN PROJECT CARGO SHIPPING AWARD 2019

We are pleased to announce that last night AAL beat stiff competition, to WIN the most prestigious project cargo shipping award in Asia – the AFLAS 2019 ‘Best Shipping Line – Project Cargo’.

We thank everyone across our Asia offices for their hard work and sterling contribution throughout the past year, as it was their customers and contacts who went online to vote for us.

Such awards send a strong and positive message into the global market about AAL’s quality and customer service – especially when we WIN major awards consistently every year.

http://www.asiacargonews.com/en/news/detail?id=3515

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MARC-OLIVER BROCKMANN TO HEAD EU COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY

Following a string of new agency appointments and office launches across Europe – the most recent in Finland – global multipurpose and project heavy lift carrier AAL is strengthening those operations yet further with the appointment of Marc-Oliver Brockmann as European Commercial Manager. With 27 years in the project heavy lift cargo sector, Brockmann brings vast experience and a strong reputation for excellence to AAL’s Hamburg-based Team run by General Manager, Eike Muentz.

Spanning almost three decades, Marc’s shipping career has been with one company, the international breakbulk and project cargo broker, COLI Schiffahrt & Transport GmbH & Co KG. He started in 1992 as a Chartering Broker and got procuration in 1996. He was appointed General Manager of COLI’s Antwerp office in 2005 and, after his return, became Managing Director of the Hamburg office in 2010 and subsequently Managing Director of Korea Branch operations in 2013. He commented, ‘I grew up with COLI and during my tenure gained extensive knowledge of the project cargo market and particularly the trade between Europe and Asia – its ebbs and flows and key drivers. I hope now to share that expertise with AAL, an ocean carrier that I’ve worked with many times and highly respect for its professionalism and transparency in dealings.’

Eike Muentz added, ‘We are truly excited that someone of Marc’s calibre has agreed to spearhead our commercial and customer relations activity in Europe and help us to realise the next stage in our ambitious development strategy.’

‘Despite the market challenges that the multipurpose and project heavy lift sector has faced in recent years, AAL has managed to remain strongly independent and grow both its services and physical operations. In Europe, as with the rest of the world, we have built a reputation for actions and not words – delivering competitive solutions for our customers and putting their needs above all else. Not only is Marc ambitious and determined, but he shares our philosophy about customer service and its importance to sustainable business development.’

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AAL GIVES ‘HEAVY’ LIFT TO FELIXSTOWE’S EXPANSION PLANS

AAL CELEBRATES FELIXSTOWE INAUGURAL CALL WITH SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY OF FOUR RTGS FROM CHINA, FOR THE UK PORT’S EXPANSION PROJECT

AAL has successfully delivered a cargo of four rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) to the Port of Felixstowe, as part of a development project that will see the UK’s busiest container port add an additional 18,000 teu of container storage capacity to meet growing demand. The ZPMC Chinese-made RTGs were loaded in Shanghai and shipped to Felixstowe aboard the 31,000 dwt mega-size mpv the A-Class AAL Kobe, for the CPIA forwarding and shipping agency. Each of the units measured 32 m x 14 m x 30 m and weighed just under 200 t.

The new remote controlled RTGs will serve Berths 8 and 9 at the Port and are capable of stacking containers six-high to enable more efficient use of the new yard. All four units were discharged safely using the Kobe’s own heavy lift cranes (700 t max lift) and due to the skill of her crew and support from AAL’s engineering department, who planned the entire operation and dispatched one of its most experienced Cargo Superintendents (CSIs) to oversee proceedings.

During the discharge operation, the Port of Felixstowe’s Head of Corporate Affairs Paul Davey visited the AAL Kobe to hand-over a commemorative plaque to her Master, Capt. Aleksandr Afanaskin, in celebration of AAL’s inaugural call.

Christophe Grammare, commented, “We are delighted to be back in the UK and calling for the first time in Felixstowe with such an impressive project cargo. Although the UK is a significant container shipping market – Felixstowe being the 6th busiest container port in Europe with about 26 million tons of cargo each year – it is not immediately associated with project heavy lift cargo. The RTGs were shipped there on-deck of the AAL Kobe which, with a highly flexible cargo capacity of almost 40,000 cbm, was also carrying additional project cargo under-deck that was discharged a few days later in Ireland.”

Captain Dai, CPIA’s General Manager concluded by saying, “The cooperation between ZPMC, AAL, Port of Felixstowe and CPIA was seamless and this proved to be key to the success of this entire operation. AAL’s professional and careful handling of this cargo throughout loading, stowage and discharge operations was impressive. Well done to all involved.”

To view more images and video of this operation, click here.

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AAL DELIVERS TBMs FOR AUSTRALIAN METRO PROJECTS

NOT AT ALL BORING FOR AAL! AAL MAKES HASTE TO DELIVER MEGA TUNNEL BORING MACHINES (TBMs) FOR GEODIS AND MAJOR AUSTRALIAN RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS!

In February, AAL successfully completed a major shipment of two mega tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from Nansha in South China to Sydney and Melbourne respectively, equipment that will help progress important new multi-billion-dollar metro railway projects taking place separately in the two state capitals. The two units and their components totaled over 7,445cbm and 2,000mt in weight and were shipped aboard the 31,000dwt heavy-lift MPV, the AAL Kembla, on behalf of Geodis Hamburg.

The two TBMs were manufactured by world-leader in heavy tunnel boring machines, Herrenknecht AG and this is the sixth shipment of such units that AAL has been commissioned to operate in the past eight months on the manufacturer’s behalf, via its selected logistics partner, Geodis Hamburg – all cargo destined for Australian infrastructure projects. The Larger of the two units on this shipment (weighing almost 1,000mt) is part of a 130-metre long boring machine named TBM Kathleen. She is the last of five mega borers for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Project and will help to build twin 15.5km railway tunnels deep under Sydney Harbour – eventually enabling underground transport of passengers in state-of-the-art driverless trains.

Marco Wendt, European Chartering Manager commented, ‘Each of our six shipments of these enormous TBM units over the past eight months has provided unique challenges, which we addressed and overcame every time. On this occasion we had tight delivery deadlines. A four-day window to discharge the first unit in White Bay, Sydney – which we did directly to barge – and then to deliver the second unit to Melbourne by 28 February, which we also accomplished.’

He added, ‘Every day is a huge expense on such major infrastructure projects and Geodis know that AAL will pull out all stops to deliver on time and that we have the commitment, engineering and operations know-how to find solutions even under the most challenging circumstances. That trust between forwarder and carrier is extremely important and explains the long-term relationship we enjoy and the future projects already in the pipeline over the next few months.’

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22 PETROCHEMICAL MODULES TO TEXAS ON SINGLE SAILING

AAL PUSAN IN ‘A-CLASS’ OF HER OWN!

AAL MEGA-SIZE MPV DELIVERS 22 CHINESE PETROCHEMICAL PLANT MODULES TO MAJOR EXPANSION PROJECT IN TEXAS IN A SINGLE SAILING!

Specialist breakbulk and project heavy lift carrier AAL has successfully shipped 22 petrochemical plant modules from the Wilson Heavy Industry Company in Nantong, to the Ethylene Glycol II Expansion Project in Point Comfort, Texas on behalf of the Pacific Ocean Group Limited.

The shipment of 22 modules – 26,000 cbm in total and weighing 1,280 t – was loaded in Nantong and transported on a single sailing to Point Comfort aboard the mega-size MPV, the A-Class 31,000 dwt AAL Pusan. The project made good use of her 700 t max heavy lifting gear in loading and discharge operations, and harnessed over half of her copious intake capacity of 40,000 cbm, with several units stowed away in her holds whilst others were securely lashed onto her weather deck.

The Ethylene Glycol II Expansion Project is operated by Nan Ya Plastics, a division of the Taiwanese petrochemicals production giant the Formosa Plastics Corporation. Once installed, the modules will aid in the production of Ethylene Glycol – an odorless and colourless organic compound used in the manufacture of automotive antifreeze, hydraulic fluids, printing inks, and paint solvents. It is also used as a reagent in the making of polyesters, resins, and synthetic waxes.

Jack Zhou commented: “With the larger multipurpose heavy lift tonnage incorporated into AAL’s unique fleet mix, we can offer customers both flexibility in stowage planning, and significantly more space than other carriers – providing considerable cost and efficiency savings for them in the process. This is particularly true of a ‘mega-size’ (+30,000 dwt) MPV like the A-Class; as such the AAL Pusan proved the perfect multipurpose vessel to accommodate this challenging project.”

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LARGEST-EVER TRANSFORMER FOR AUSSIE WINDFARM

AAL has just delivered Victoria’s – and possibly Australia’s – largest ever transformer to the Stockyard Hill Windfarm Connection in Victoria on behalf of Australia-based global logistics solutions provider, Cargo Line International. The state-of-the art Toshiba-made unit will help to generate enough clean energy to power 390,000 average homes in the south east of the country every year with approximately 2 million tonnes of CO2 savings.

The 600MVA, 500/132kV Toshiba manufactured ‘mega-transformer’ measured approximately 14m x 5m and weighed over 305 mt. It was shipped from Shanghai to Geelong in Victoria, aboard one of AAL’s 31,000 dwt A-Class heavy-lift MPVs, the AAL Dalian. The unit was safely stowed by the crew of the Dalian into her 38m x 12.80m cargo hold no.3, harnessing her heavy-lift (700t max) port-mounted cranes for the successful loading and discharge operations.

World Leader in PMDD Turbine Technology, Goldwind Australia, operates the Stockyard Hill Windfarm Connection with support from Mondo, the commercial energy division of AusNet Services which owns and represents the Victoria electricity network. Construction of the windfarm commenced May 2018 and consists of 149 wind turbines that, as well as 530 MW of renewable energy, will provide significant environmental, community and economic benefits to the whole region. The transformer will be installed at the windfarm’s brilliantly-named ‘Haunted Gully’ Terminal Station in Lismore about 170km west of Melbourne.

Christophe Grammare, AAL’s Commercial Director, commented: “As Australia’s economy continues to perform well, with a supportive global environment and strong domestic demand set to maintain this growth for 2019, AAL is delighted to be part of a project that will have wide-reaching economic and community benefits. We’re also proud to contribute to such an important green power project and reinforce our reputation as carrier of choice for a growing number of Australia’s largest renewable energy projects.”

Bronwen Grabe, Cargo Line International’s Project Manager added, ‘Being entrusted by Toshiba International to handle the end to end Freight Forwarding Scope of this project has been a privilege. This project was years in the making and was a remarkable success which can be attributable to the professionalism and dedication of the Project Team at Cargo Line International achieving excellence. As an Australian owned company, we are proud to assist in a project that directly benefits and impacts the community and the environment.”

Dennis Freedman, Head of Infrastructure Development at AusNet Services, said, “The successful delivery of this transformer marks a huge milestone for this significant renewable energy project. It’s a great achievement and we want to thank everyone involved. In many ways this delivery represents the project as a whole – the importance of great relationships and successful collaboration with our delivery partners and the client.”

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AAL SPONSORS NEW ‘PROJECT LOGISTICS’ AWARD

AAL is the official sponsor of the ‘Project Logistics Provider of the Year’ category at the inaugural Heavy Lift Awards, organised by HLPFI.

“AAL has been a close partner of HLPFI for many years and their understanding and appreciation of our sector has always been unwavering. We operate in a high pressure service environment, where no two companies, or the quality of their services, are the same and it is people who make the difference. We hope that these awards acknowledge the many unsung heroes working within our sector whose expertise, hard work and dogged determination keeps breakbulk and heavy lift project cargo moving smoothly between every compass point,” said AAL’s managing director Kyriacos Panayides.

As one of the world’s largest and most trusted operators, multipurpose carrier AAL has served the global breakbulk and heavy lift project cargo industry for a quarter of a century, operating across the energy, oil & gas, mining, forestry, leisure, agriculture and construction industries.

AAL provides customers with three distinct service models, including bespoke tramp and projects solutions to any location; scheduled liner services between Asia and Oceania; and semi-liner services combining fixed-routes with highly flexible port calls. AAL’s growing fleet of owned and chartered heavy lift multipurpose vessels is the sector’s youngest and spearheads the ‘mega-mpv’ (30,000+ dwt) segment, providing shippers with best-in-class economies of scale and cargo intake volumes.

With a multilingual office network spanning Asia, Oceania, Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas, as well as the sector’s finest commercial, engineering and operations professionals, AAL is able to locally address a global customer base 24/7.

Find out more about AAL’s services here.
Subscribe to AAL’s mailing list today: https://su.vc/aalsubscriptionform.

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