BREAKBULK and project heavy-lift specialist AAL is adding a further four large multipurpose ships to its fleet, taking aggregate capacity to almost 740,000 deadweight tonnes.

The modern and highly adaptable Warnow-class (W-class) will this month join five sisterships already in AAL service and represent an additional 133,000 dwt and 156,000 cubic metres of capacity to boost the carrier’s global coverage.

The W-class each have five holds served by three 60-tonne cranes, are fitted with removable ‘tweendecks, and can carry up to 1158 20-foot containers or 545 40s. Total hold capacity is 39,000 cu m per vessel.

AAL runs two breakbulk/ heavylift liner services from Asia to Australia, AUEC and AUWC, covering East Coast and West Coast ports and employing the carrier’s 31,000 dwt A-class and 19,000 dwt S-class respectively. The W-class vessels are already familiar callers in Australian ports, especially with wind farm component cargoes.

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AAL says the extra Ws will provide additional capacity on its key trades such as: Asia – Australia; Asia – Middle East – Europe; and Asia – North America.The latest fleet expansion news comes on the eve of AAL’s 25-year anniversary and is a clear statement of intent to further strengthen its global trade coverage and already renowned niche market positioning, adding to its already varied fleet profile with ‘mega-size’ tonnage that offers shippers significant cargo intake volumes and economies of scale on every sailing, the company says.

AAL MD Kyriacos Panayides said: “We’ve invested heavily in developing a global infrastructure, differentiated modern fleet profile and team of professionals worldwide – experts in chartering, commercial support, operations and engineering – that can put us in pole position over other carriers to deliver on the demands of today’s global project industry. 

“Despite being in a position to cater for the long or short-term employment demands of any major project worldwide, we retain an appetite for further sustainable growth and to ensure that our service remains competitive and differentiated at every level of our operations.”

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