AAL establishes monthly service between Asia and US
Capitalising on the frequency of sailings between Asia and the Americas in the past 12 months, AAL Shipping has decided to establish a monthly tramp service to strengthen the trade lane going forward into 2021. The carrier will employ multiple vessel types on the service.
The decision is based on AAL’s recent experience of carrying a much broader portfolio of cargoes into Central America, Gulf of Mexico, and the United States East Coast for its growing customer base within the USA, South East Asia and China.
“A lot of the smaller cargoes tend to be booked at origin in Asia, whereas project cargo is often booked from within the USA, like renewables into the USG and Energy and liquid natural gas (LNG) sector projects. This view is simplified but holds true in terms of a trend. We are however noticing a slow shift towards more project cargo influence from Asia”, comments Michael Morland, general manager of AAL Americas in Houston.
He adds that the service is the result of time and hard work as the company had to gain the trust of its customers. “Building the market to justify regular monthly multipurpose (MPP) tramp sailings has taken time and hard work. Looking back a few years, volumes could not be relied on and we saw long-standing players pull out. We do not take our recent success for granted and are pleased with how well the market has taken to our service integrity”, says Morland.
AAL foresees that President Biden’s Administration will continue a strict line on trade with China but anticipates a more constructive dialogue that will lead to increased trade volumes between the two superpowers. The carrier also forecasts increased cargo volumes to South America.
“As our service from Asia enters through the Panama Canal, we are seeing increased inquiries to the North of South America and Central America. The deviation to discharge in these ports is not necessarily big, so we can be competitive when there are cargoes suitable. There are signs of investment in oil and gas, infrastructure, and renewables”, Morland says.