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News & Events

TWO SIEMENS GENERATORS FOR EU & IRAQ POWER PLANTS

The ‘mega-size’ heavy lift multipurpose vessel (MPV), AAL Singapore, transported two Siemens generators with a combined weight of almost 700mt for two separate gas-fired power plants in Europe and Iraq that will help to generate a total clean energy output of 1,680 MW.

Global project heavy lift carrier AAL has recently delivered two Siemens ‘S-Gen’ generators, weighing close to 350 mt each, for two new clean energy gas-fired power plants in Europe and Maysan, Iraq. The units were built at Siemens’ worldwide energy hub in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, and transported from the Norfolk International Terminals in Virginia, USA, into Europe and Iraq onboard the 31,000 dwt mega-size AAL Singapore. The estimated construction cost of each plant is over USD340 million, and both feature a potential power output of 840 MW.

On route to discharging the second unit in the Port of Umm Qasr, Iraq, the AAL Singapore called Hamburg, Germany, to load an additional steam turbine weighing 317 mt for the same power plant in Maysan.

Marco Wendt, Chartering Manager at AAL Europe – the Hamburg-based office responsible for booking the cargo – commented: “The cargo was carried on a popular trade route, eastbound from the US to Europe, Middle East, and onwards to Asia. The two generators were booked by different customers, including Bertling. We have long-standing relationships with these charterers and worked extremely hard to deliver their cargoes on schedule, powering through the challenges to our sea and land-based operations of necessary COVID-19 restrictions and health and safety measures.”

Eike Muentz, General Manager at AAL Europe, added: “The US – Europe – Middle East – Asia trade is growing in importance for AAL and in May and June alone, we operated 12 multipurpose sailings calling US ports, with more planned in July. This frequency of large tonnage into the region is offering the US multipurpose market much needed support during this challenging time and providing shippers trading in the region with flexibility and economies of scale – no matter how small or large their cargo might be.”

HOW ‘A-BOAT’ THAT! 38 YACHTS IN A SINGLE SAILING

‘MEGA SIZE’ MPV AAL MELBOURNE TRANSPORTS 38 YACHTS ON DECK FROM US TO EUROPE

Award-winning multipurpose and project heavy lift carrier AAL Shipping, in partnership with Peters & May, has successfully transported 38 private yachts – the largest of which was 32m long – on deck in a single sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton and Antwerp. The cargo covered an area of 2,500 m2 – about half the size of a soccer pitch – and was carried aboard the ‘mega size’ 31,000 dwt AAL Melbourne, with her 39,500 cbm intake capacity and weather deck space of 3,000 m2.

Marc Willim, General Manager of AAL’s Chartering Department, commented, ‘With 25-years’ experience delivering tramp chartering solutions and operating scheduled liner services on busy trades around the world, we have carried our fair share of pleasure craft.  Only a few months ago, we transported an 86m long alluminium superyacht hull from China to Australia, the largest single floating cargo piece that we have ever carried.  Similarly, 38 yachts with an average length of 16m on deck requires well-planned stowage engineering and lashing, a first-class crew and a very special ship.’

He added, ‘At a time when the global shipping community is concerned about the ability of MPP carriers to deliver service and schedule integrity, this sailing examples AAL’s own boosted frequency through the US. In a boost to the region’s shippers, in June we have multiple MPP vessels calling US West Coast, Gulf and East Coast Ports and ready to serve market needs.’

Dave Holley, CEO of Peters & May, concluded by saying, ‘moving this many yachts in one go is always full of challenges and we are very careful which carrier we choose for such a voyage. AAL provided us with a timely solution and the whole operation went extremely smoothly. We are now looking forward to our next transatlantic voyage.’

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.

DELIVERING PEACE OF MIND DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

At AAL we have been closely monitoring global developments in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and already undertaken company-wide measures to ensure the health and safety of our people and the continuity of our shipping services and operations during this time and in the event of any regional escalation in threat.

We accept the weight of responsibility to provide trusted global services and connect the supply chains of our customers even during this unprecedented time of challenge. Despite decisions being made at governmental level within each market worldwide, we aim to be as prepared as possible with our own proactive set of business continuity plans to mitigate health & safety risks whilst ensuring that AAL continues to prove services of the highest standard.

We have engaged our QHSE team to work alongside Management and other departments to monitor the pandemic status globally and harmonise new far-reaching protocols, that will guide our working practices until this crisis subdues. These include:

• improved office hygiene and new daily health & safety procedures within the workplace;
• tailor-made remote working / split working arrangements for our offices worldwide;
• meetings, gatherings and business travel restrictions and quarantine directives;
• harnessing of innovative and harmonised communications methodologies and cloud-based technology systems.

Throughout this time, we will remain in constant contact with customers, vendors and other business associates to update you of all significant activity and developments affecting AAL and its global operations. Furthermore, should you have any queries relating to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime at either aal@aalshipping.com, or your local AAL office.

In the meantime, we thank-you for your continued support and wish you, your colleagues and loved ones the very best during this challenging time.

Kind regards

AAL Management

Kyriacos Panayides
Managing Director

INAUGURAL EU-ASIA LINER SERVICE CALL IN HAMBURG!

Hamburg welcomed the ‘AAL Kembla’ on her first call in Germany’s largest universal port. She berthed at C. Steinweg’s multi-purpose Süd-West-Terminal. AAL Shipping is deploying the heavy-lift/project cargo ship on its new monthly liner service connecting ports in Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia. The service is overseen by AAL’s Hamburg office, opened in 2012, which also offers tailormade tramp chartering shipping to all regions in the world.

Built in 2011, the ‘AAL Kembla’ is one of the carrier’s second-generation A-class multi-purpose, heavy-lift vessels. She is 193.81 metres long and 29.1 metres wide, with a draft of 9.2 metres. The vessel has four shipboard cranes and a maximum lift capacity of 700 tons. The deadweight tonnage of the ‘AAL Kembla’ is 31,000 dwt.

In the Port of Hamburg, dominated by container handling, heavy-lift shipments are a specialised field. Project/heavy-lift cargo is classified as ‘Conventional General Cargo’. This covers cargo that containers cannot transport on account of size and/or weight limitations, including large vehicles, machines, plant and out-of-gauge iron & steel products. During her first call in Hamburg at C. Steinweg’s Süd-West-Terminal, the ‘AAL Kembla’ loaded steel plate for discharge in Shanghai and chemical components for Masan in South Korea.

Hamburg is very well placed as a universal port, with its range of general and project cargo shipping companies. Generally connected trimodally, its terminals with their state-of-the-art handling equipment are the basis for its significance in the international general cargo transport chain. Handling, transport and warehousing of general cargo generate high added value: almost one-third of regular liner services in the Port of Hamburg transport non-containerised general cargo. In 2019 general & heavy-lift cargo ships and special vessels for wheeled – RoRo – or refrigerated cargo accounted for 17% of all calls in the port. General cargo handling totalled 1.4 million tons, 1.1 million tons being exports.

Just recently, AAL was declared ‘Shipping Company of 2019’ by the internationally respected trade magazine for heavy-lift transport, ‘Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International’. This year, the company celebrates its 25th anniversary.

AAL’s 25th ANNIVERSARY KICKS-OFF IN STYLE @ BB ME 2020

AAL’s 25th-anniversary celebrations got off to a fine start at the Breakbulk Middle East 2020 Expo in Dubai (25-26 February).

As well as being ‘Thought Leader‘ sponsor of the conference, Managing Director Kyriacos Panayides was invited to participate in a lively ‘IMO 2020′ panel discussion with several of the sector’s leading stakeholders – including representatives of Agility and Fluor.

The festivities continued for AAL at a beachfront reception on the evening of the 25th, in the shadow of the renowned Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Hotel. At the high calibre event hosted by AAL, invited guests from around the world enjoyed an evening of Michelin star food and drink. Guests also enjoyed a sumptuous chocolate birthday cake and unique gin-based cocktail, both made especially for the night – the latter called the ‘AAL @25 Anniversary Cocktail’.

Icing on the cake, during AAL’s Activities in Dubai, was provided by Ann De Smet and Phillippe Beaujean of the Port of Antwerp who presented AAL with a crystal glass commemorative award, to celebrate the launch of its new ‘Europe – Middle East/India – Asia Monthly Liner Service’, of which Antwerp is one of its base ports.

GENOA-BASED HUGO TRUMPY JOINS AAL’S EU AGENCY NETWORK

Hot on the heels of the recent launch of its ‘Europe – Middle East/India – Asia Monthly Liner Service’, award-winning multipurpose heavy lift carrier AAL has appointed Genovese shipping firm, Hugo Trumpy Srl to be its exclusive commercial agency representative in Italy.  Established in 1876, Hugo Trumpy is one of the region’s oldest maritime groups, with valuable experience in the breakbulk and project heavy lift sector.

Eike Muentz, AAL’s European General Manager, explained, ‘‘Italy is a strong market for breakbulk and project cargo and well served by our new Europe to Asia liner service and tramp chartering options east and westbound through the region.  However, after considering possible commercial conflicts of interest going forward, AAL and our existing representatives, the Gastaldi Group, have made a joint decision to terminate our agreement.

He added, ‘We thank Gastaldi for their cooperation and now focus on our immediate future in the region which we have placed into the safe hands of Hugo Trumpy. The Agency has an excellent shipping pedigree; knows the sector we serve extremely well and is aligned with AAL’s commercial ambitions for the Italian market.’

Davide Zingariello joins the Genoa team as AAL’s Owner’s Representative and brings with him 27 years maritime experience in and around the Italian Port – 14 of which were gained working with heavy lift ships and multipurpose cargo handling. He commented, ‘With AAL’s scheduled and regular sailings from Italy, we have a great opportunity to build an even stronger presence and broader cargo base within the local shipping community.’  

Valdemar Boesgaard, CEO at Hugo Trumpy, concluded, ‘We are honored to represent AAL and will combine their long-standing experience in transporting heavy lift project cargo and operating successful liner operations with our own knowledge of the Italian market and its demands. Together we will no doubt build a regular presence in the territory and become an important and reliable team in the field.’

AAL’S BENELUX AGENT ‘DKT’ BOOSTS MPP CAPABILITY

Antwerp-based Shipping Agency, DKT (De Keyser Thornton Group), has appointed two top ex Rickmers/Zeamarine Managers, Kurt Lyssens and Peter De Boer – both highly regarded and experienced liner services operators – to strengthen its commercial presence in Benelux and work alongside AAL, on the promotion of the carrier’s new ‘Europe-Middle East/India-Asia Monthly Liner Service’. DKT, part of the important French Naxco Group, was established in 1853 and has been AAL’s exclusive agency representative in the region since 2018.

Kurt Lyssens has been working in shipping since 1989, with vast experience in commercial sales and operations of breakbulk liner and semi-liner services through Europe to every major continent worldwide – most recently with Rickmers/Zeamarine. Peter De Boer, joined Rickmers Line Belgium in 1993 and has extensive experience in the multiple fields of operations, customer service and for the last 18 years commercial sales. Both men have already begun their tenures at DKT and are based in its Antwerp HQ.

Sven De Meester, DKT Group’s CEO, commented, ‘These gentlemen have 30 years respectively worth of expertise in the operation and promotion of global liner services, at management level. With that experience and the huge respect they each command within the region’s breakbulk and project heavy lift shipping community, we strengthen our offering and send a clear message of intent to the market.’

Eike Muentz, AAL’s Europe General Manager, added, ‘DKT has been our exclusive representative in Benelux for 2 years and we have a close working relationship. The appointment of Kurt and Peter is not only significant for them, but also for the promotion of AAL’s new Liner Service between Europe Middle East / India and Asia that we’ve just launched – as both men are already working alongside us on it.’

AAL LAUNCHES EUROPE – MIDDLE EAST / INDIA – ASIA MONTHLY LINER SERVICE

Launching this month, the Europe – Middle East / India – Asia Monthly Liner Service will connect main ports between Europe, Middle East / India and Asia, to serve the market’s MPP & project heavy lift cargo transport requirements.

In celebration of its milestone 25th year of operations, the award-winning multipurpose and project heavy lift carrier, AAL Shipping, has announced the launch of a new service – the Europe – Middle East / India – Asia Monthly Liner Service – that will offer the market trusted and scheduled monthly liner sailings, connecting main ports between Europe, Middle East / India and Asia. It will harness AAL’s 2nd generation 31,000 dwt ‘mega-size’ A-Class fleet, renowned for its 40,000 cbm cargo intake capacity and 700t lift capability.

The new liner service will follow a fixed route, with port call flexibility. Base ports will include Antwerp, Porto Marghera, Jebel Ali, Dammam, Mumbai, Singapore, Shanghai, Tianjin and Masan.  AAL is drawing on its 25 years expertise in operating MPP liner services to bring this exciting new service to market and is further strengthening its team with the appointment of liner service expert, Captain Kay Goldenstein, who will oversee the new operation from AAL’s European Hub office in Hamburg.  

Christophe Grammare, AAL’s Commercial Director, commented, “The Europe – Middle East / India – Asia Monthly Liner Service is a natural addition to our existing portfolio of tailormade tramp chartering solutions and other established scheduled liner services between Asia and Oceania. The fact that the launch of this new service coincides with our 25-year anniversary is testament to the ambition of AAL to serve its customers where they most need us and where we can offer the market a more competitive and effective solution for their multipurpose heavy lift cargo needs, than currently on offer.”

He added, “Kay Goldenstein is just the person we wanted to run this service and he makes a valuable addition to our already strengthened European team.  We will soon be issuing the first schedule for this service and, in fact, are already taking cargo bookings through our local network of offices along the route.”

AAL TRANSPORTS SIX RTGs ON ITS ASIA – US SERVICE

January 2020 – Award-winning multipurpose and project heavy lift carrier, AAL, has opened its 25th year of operations with the successful delivery of a cargo of six RTGs (rubber tyred gantry cranes) in a single sailing from the Port of Taicang to the South Florida Container Terminal (Port Miami), onboard its mega-size 31,000dwt vessel, the AAL Newcastle. The cargo was shipped along AAL’s Asia – Americas service, which offers regular sailings and flexible port calls along the trade.

The RTGs measured 25m x 14m x 26m each and weighed circa.150t – manufactured by Taicang’s, Rainbow-Cargotec Industries Co., Ltd (RCI) for deployment at the fast-growing South Florida Container Terminal at Port Miami. The complicated loading and discharge operations of these units took several days in each port respectively, due to the careful manoeuvering and securing of the units on the deck of the Newcastle, to ensure optimum stowage capability and cargo safety.

Stone Shi, Sales Manager for AAL China, who fixed the cargo and personally oversaw loading in Taicang, commented; “The planning and engineering of this operation took several months and was executed perfectly by the Master and crew of the AAL Newcastle, working in conjunction with our excellent engineering and operations teams. Loaded at the end of November and discharged in Miami within 48 hours of the New Year, this was AAL’s first major delivery of 2020 as we celebrate our 25th year of operations.”

Jack Zhou, General Manager and Chief Representative of AAL in China, added; “This operation highlights our growing capability on this in-demand route and the flexible tonnage we have in position. Every square metre of the AAL Newcastle’s vast 3,000m2 weather deck space was harnessed to accommodate these RTG units and, with a completely full underdeck storage of other breakbulk cargo loaded on the same sailing, we made full use of her significant 40,000cbm cargo intake capacity.

“Our thanks go to the hard-working crew of the AAL Newcastle and our teams in China and Miami, who put aside their New Year celebrations to make sure our customer’s schedule was met – a point of appreciation among all project stakeholders, who were quick to thank AAL for our dependability and professionalism.”

IMO 2020 LOW SULPHUR FUEL REGULATION

In strict accordance with the above regulation, AAL has migrated its entire fleet to the use of fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5% or less. 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, adoption of same has had profound implications on the economics of our daily operations.

As a result of our increased bunkering costs, associated with the migration to low sulphur fuel, the BAF surcharge for breakbulk cargo booked on AUEC & AUWC liner sailings from 01st Jan 2020 will be raised by USD 6.00 per RT (new total BAF USD 16.00 per RT).

There will also be an increase in Container BAF Prices with 20` BAF increasing to USD 480 per unit and 40`/48` increasing to USD 960 per unit.

The above will come into effect on AAL’s Liner Services as of the following Sailings:

Vessel Voyage
AAL Shanghai or sub 01ES20
AAL Bangkok or sub 01WS20

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.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, with any queries related to this matter.  
Yours faithfully,

The AAL Management Team
Brisbane, 18th December 2019

ALL SHIP-SHAPE ONBOARD THE AAL BANGKOK!

The AAL Bangkok recently provided the perfect ocean transport solution for a leading yacht transport and boat shipping company, representing a select group of private owners seeking a Caribbean climate for their pleasure cruising this winter. AAL’s specialist heavy lift S-Class vessel (19,000 dwt) loaded a compiled cargo of 12 floating craft in Genoa, Italy, and successfully transported same to the Virgin Islands and Port Everglades.  The 3,500m2 cargo included a 51-metre super yacht, weighing 400t, which proved short work for the Bangkok’s heavy lift cranes and their combined 700t max lift.

Pavao Kopic, AAL’s Chartering Manager in Houston commented that due to the nature and value of the cargo (insured for close to 100 million US dollars), the customer chose AAL for its reliability track record and the significant lifting capability and cargo intake volume of the S-Class fleet.

The cargo was transported via AAL’s growing Europe-US service, which features multiple tonnage options and regular sailings.

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.