MULTIPURPOSE and project heavy lift specialist AAL Shipping transported a heavy-lift barge from Taicang, China to Papeete, Tahiti.

The barge weighed-in on hook at 410 tonnes and measured over 53 metres in length and 3,657 cbm. It was stowed on the 31,000-dwt AAL Dalian with another 29,000 cbm of cargo comprised of large and small parcels loaded in China, South Korea, and Japan to be discharged along the US West Coast and gulf.

AAL deputy head of transport engineering Yahaya Sanusi said the barge was designed by Alwena Shipping in France and arranged to be built at the Yangzhou Hairun Shipyard, China.

“Our own planning for this heavy cargo operation started in September 2020 providing time to analyse technical details of the lift and make pre-preparation recommendations to the customer, like welding special padeyes onto the deck of the barge to facilitate safer lifting by the AAL Dalian’s port side cranes, without the need for lifting beams,” Mr Sanusi said.

Martin Bencher France SAS managing director Floris Schorsch said, “It was important for us to deliver a high-quality solution for our customer, with a focus on cost control, risk management, and schedule integrity. AAL not only had the cargo expertise we needed but was also active on the transpacific trade with suitable tonnage options. The safe transport of this cargo required a lot of planning and coordination between us, the customer, and AAL. Ultimately, the loading onto the AAL Dalian was well executed and all parties fully satisfied. The barge will eventually be deployed by owner, Travaux Maritimes de Polynesie, in the French Polynesia for civil works.”

Felix Schoeller, General Manager of AAL, said, “The Asia to Americas trade is one that we have employed significant resources into developing and have served with a sailing practically every month. With our extensive liner experience, we can put together voyages for large and small parcels of practically any cargo type. This is perfectly evidenced on this sailing, which accommodated steel pipes, containers, large tanks, cooler units and turbines, electrical equipment, a heavy lift dismantled crane, and of course Martin Bencher’s barge – and all at the same time. This type of parcelling means cargoes can be transported faster and with significant economies of scale for every shipper, big or small.”