AAL, HMM Launches Joint MPV Liner Service

AAL, HMM Launches Joint MPV Liner Service

Multipurpose ship operator AAL has partnered with South Korea’s diversified shipping group, Hyundai Merchant Marine, or HMM, to launch a Far East-Middle East MPV liner service.

Announcing the launch at Breakbulk Middle East taking place in Abu Dhabi this week, AAL cemented its long-standing relationship with HMM to bring five MPVs under a joint service on a scheduled bi-monthly rotation. The stated intention is to increase the number of ships on the service to six by 2019.

Namir Khanbabi, AAL chartering and operations director, said that the operator had run MPV liner services between Asia and its key trade partners for more than 20 years. Pooling resources with HMM allowed each operator to “offer more comprehensive service portfolios with improved frequency, capacity, coverage and economies of scale for our customers,” he added.

“As more global projects become active in 2018 and multipurpose cargo volumes rise – as has been widely forecasted – we aim to be in pole position to competitively service this demand, whatever the cargo and wherever the destination,” Khanbabi said.

The agreement sees HMM expand its services portfolio with global tramp, semi-liner services provided by AAL, although AAL stressed that both carriers would remain independent and would promote the expanded services under their own respective brands. The carriers will issue separate schedules to customers.

Seung-il, Park, general manager of HMM, said that while there were no immediate plans for a more expanded cooperation, the operator would “thoroughly review” any “meaningful opportunities to generate further value for our respective customers through an expanded collaboration.”

The five MPVs on rotation are made up of four 30,100-deadweight-tonne, 640-Class ships from HMM and one 31,000 dwt A-Class ship from AAL on a 15- and 30-day sailing rotation. A sixth AAL A Class MPV was expected to be added in 2019. The service routing will connect China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore with the Middle East via the Middle East Gulf and Red Sea routes.

Photo: AAL will bring five MPVs under a joint service with HMM on a scheduled bi-monthly rotation.