SHIPPING company AAL says the addition of a second multipurpose vessel will boost its scheduled service between Asia and the Australian west coast.
Presently the regular liner service to Western Australia is one vessel which results in the service being drawn out to six-plus weeks per rotation. With the introduction of the second vessel the service is to be a monthly rotation.
The expansion is said to come on the back of strong growth (16% in 2017/1018) for Western Australia’s mineral and petroleum industry – due largely to rising commodity prices, strong export demand and an increasing local production.
The AAL AUWC service has served the breakbulk and project heavy-lift shipping community in the region since 2006 and is understood to be the only MPV liner service between North Asia and the Australian West Coast with regular sailings from Shanghai, Pusan and Kaohsiung to Fremantle as well as Port Hedland / Dampier on inducement.
The service currently uses AAL’s owned S-Class MPV fleet (19,000dwt and featuring a combined maximum lifting capacity of 700 metric tonnes).
From next month, an additional S-Class is to be deployed to expand the service to a monthly rotation and provide additional capacity.
AAL Australia general manager Frank Mueller said the Australian economy and fortunes of many local customers was benefiting from a global recovery that began in 2017.
AAL commercial director Christophe Grammare said they were delighted to be expanding the AUWC service, as Western Australian had suffered its “share of economic hits in the past few years”.
“Unlike other carriers, who cancelled services during the tough times and left local shippers with few options, AAL has not wavered in its support of the region – something our local customers appreciate,” Mr Grammare said.
“This same philosophy of building customer trust and long-term partnerships is something we replicate in all our services around the world.”