AAL Launches Europe-Far East Service

Breakbulk Route to Meet Wind Power Growth

Breakbulk shipping line AAL has launched a regular Europe-Far East Service, with frequent sailings between northern Europe and eastern Asia.
The proposed route will connect the ARA and Baltic regions in northern Europe to China and Japan, via the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It will be served by AAL’s own 19,000 deadweight-tonne S-Class heavy lift vessels and complemented by ad-hoc sailings of its A-Class and W-Class multipurpose fleet.

“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,” said Eike Muentz, AAL Europe’s general manager.

Wind Power Demand

Demand from new wind power projects is reportedly behind AAL’s decision to launch this route, as cargo flow for breakbulk wind energy components is expected to grow with the ramp up of onshore and offshore wind projects in Asia.

The default routing will be from Europe via the Med, but AAL notes it can also sail via West Africa or PG/Middle East depending on cargo demand. The firm aims to establish monthly calls from Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and one or two additional loading ports in the Med, with the option to draw upon larger vessel classes within its fleet, such as its "mega size" heavy-lift A-Class and W-Class ships.

S-Class Flexibility

Each of the S-Class heavy-life vessels operating on the route will be equipped with 700 tonnes lifting capacity cranes, making them well-suited for breakbulk handling.
“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-tonne 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,” Muentz added.

AAL is a member of Cypriot investment group Schoeller Holdings and operates a specialist multipurpose fleet with heavy-lift capabilities of up to 700 tonnes. The company provides breakbulk, heavy-lift and project cargo services worldwide to the energy, oil and gas, mining, forestry, leisure, agriculture and construction sectors.