Singapore-headquartered carrier AAL will add 133,000 dwt of multipurpose tonnage to its fleet.
Kyriacos Panayides, managing director of AAL, said that four W-class ships (built 2010-2011, 33,000 dwt approx.) brings the company’s operated tonnage to approximately 740,000 dwt.
These additions, the first of which will be delivered this month, are sister ships to tonnage AAL already operates and are ideally suited for the carriage of project and bulk cargoes. The final ship will be delivered in November, bringing AAL’s W-class fleet to nine.
“These additions will help us to increase our frequency and presence in the trades that we are serving. These are: Oceania, intra-Asia, Asia, Middle East and Europe, and Asia-US Gulf,” said Panayides.
He added that the deal is great news for AAL as its existing partners have entrusted the carrier with more tonnage. It also aligns with the carrier’s ambition of sustainable growth with tonnage that meets its purposes. At the same time, AAL’s A-class, S-class and G-class vessels will continue to deliver heavy lift services worldwide.
The addition of new capacity comes at a time when there are more promising prospects for the multipurpose shipping sector.
“We have seen some spikes now and we are a little more optimistic than in recent times,” said Panayides. "In 2020, we should see more activity in the project industry – something that we have been waiting for.
“We have been involved in the budgetary processes of these projects so hopefully they will come along in 2020 as planned, and this will create a bit more demand on the project side.”