June 6 - Austral Asia Line (AAL) has established a dedicated Project and Tramp Shipping division, based at its head office in Singapore, and engaged a team of four project shipping, chartering and heavy lift cargo specialists, headed by Namir Khanbabi who

With a background in project cargo forwarding, Khanbabi has most recently held the position of managing director, Beluga Projects, Singapore and brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in this sector.

Grant Bell has been appointed chartering manager. Bell also has a project forwarding background and most recently worked in a similar role at Beluga Projects, Singapore.

With this development AAL says that it is enhancing the service capability and quality of its established regional liner shipping service with the experience and know-how of a highly qualified team of experts in worldwide project cargo transportation. A dedicated charter-desk will enable us to offer a combination of liner and tramp shipping solutions within our Asia-Australia trades, and to expand the geographical reach of our shipping services beyond our core trading region, adding that "the addition of strong transport engineering skills augments our ability to provide technically first-class shipping and transport solutions for project, heavy lift and over-dimensional cargo."

AAL says that coming at the same time as the delivery of the first units of its 14-ship fleet of brand-new multipurpose heavy lift/project cargo vessels, this development is consistent with the company's ongoing commitment to strengthen its service capabilities - at sea and ashore.