AAL and HMM launch new MPV service

SINGAPORE: Multipurpose (MPV) carriers AAL and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) have begun a new liner service between Asia and the Middle East with five MPV vessels operating a scheduled bi-monthly rotation.

The service is part of a new cooperation agreement between the two companies that will also see the expansion of HMM’s services portfolio with global tramp solutions, and semi-liner services provided by AAL.

The new MPV liner service will provide capacity for breakbulk, project heavylift and general cargo shippers using four 30,100dwt 640-Class vessel from HMM and one 31,000dwt A-Class from AAL on a 15 and 30-day sailing rotation. A sixth vessel will be added to the service by 2019 following an expected rise in demand for project cargo.

The joint sailings will connect China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore with the Middle East via the Gulf and Red Sea routes. While capacity and port coverage will be coordinated, both carriers say they will remain independent.

Namir Khanbabi, Chartering & Operations director for AAL explained: “AAL has run successful MPV liner services between Asia and its key trade partners for more than 20 years. By pooling our resources with HMM, we can each offer more comprehensive service portfolios with improved frequency, capacity, coverage, and economies of scale for our customers.

“There will be no collaboration on pricing and we will each pursue bookings under our own respective brands, with separate commercial teams and bills of lading,” he added.

Seung-il Park, HMM general manager of HMM commented: “We’ve established a leading position with Korea’s dynamic energy and infrastructure industries, operating regular multipurpose sailings between Asia and the West. These same customers can now take advantage of the exciting new services that our cooperation with AAL will bring, without seeing any change to either the team or the process by which they make their current bookings.”