Feb 19 | 2021
(Americas) Biden Policy Forecast to Boost Breakbulk Trade
Shipping line AAL said it plans to stengthen its service between Asia and the Americas in 2021.
Citing a growing customer base within the U.S., Southeast Asia and China, AAL has committed to one sailing a month, served by multiple vessel types from its young specialist multipurpose vessel, or MPV, fleet.
“Our service connects Southeast Asia, the Far East, U.S. Gulf and East Coast. We are well-placed to service cargoes and parcels of any size. A lot of the smaller cargoes tend to be booked at origin in Asia, whereas project cargo is often booked from within the U.S., like renewables into the Gulf and energy and liquid natural gas sector projects,” explained Michael Morland, general manager of AAL Americas and based in Houston, Texas.
The move comes as AAL predicts that the Biden administration will seek "a more constructive dialogue" with China, while nonetheless maintaining a strict line on trade. This is forecast to increase trade above current levels and also support growth in volumes to South America.
“As our service from Asia enters through the Panama Canal, we are seeing increased inquiries to the North of South America and Central America. The deviation to discharge in these ports is not necessarily big, so we can be competitive when there are cargoes suitable. There are signs of investment in oil and gas, infrastructure and renewables, so we are in the perfect position to increase our fleet deployment into the region given the right opportunity,” Morland added.
Asia Project Cargo Influence
The firm reports it has seen demand for a "much broader portfolio of cargoes" into Central America, and the U.S. Gulf and East coasts over the last year, with the majority of breakbulk projects originating in the U.S.
“This view is simplified, but holds true in terms of a trend. We are, however, noticing a slow shift towards more project cargo influence from Asia,” Morland added.
AAL is a member of Cypriot investment group Schoeller Holdings and operates a specialist multipurpose fleet that combines heavy-lift capability up to 700 tonnes and intake capacity of up to 40,000 cubic meters. The firm is an exhibitor at Breakbulk events.
Earlier this month, AAL announced plans to strengthen capacity on its Europe–Middle East/India–Asia Monthly Liner Service, with a long-term commitment to employing six "mega size" heavy-lift MPVs.
Subscribe to BreakbulkONE and receive more industry stories and updates around impact of COVID-19.