b'AJOT: It appears that the Super B-Class vessels have threeAJOT: On a more recent front, during the pandemic, when 350-ton heavy lift cranes along the port side and that two canthere was a severe shortage of container liner capacity and vir-be combined to a 700-ton tandem lift at each end of the deck.tually unprecedented congestion at major ports, box shippers What is the lifting capacity for what appears to be a 540-footwere turning to breakbulk, project and multi-purpose vessels vessel and how does that compare with older earlier classfor transport. Was AAL similarly impacted and, if so, has that vessels? traffic worked its way through the system?Henrik Hansen: AAL operates in the bigger segment of theHenrik Hansen: Post pandemic we were faced with the col-global MPP fleet with tonnage size up to 32,000 DWT. Thelapse of the supply chain which, for MPP operators, presented SuperBClass,comparedtoourcurrentAClass,isby14new challenges and opportunities by catering to commodities metres (45 feet) shorter in length, yet her intake is about 2,000traditionally shipped in containers or large scale of commodity CBM more than that of the A Class (under deck). specifics shipped on open-hatch box-shaped tonnage. As outlined, lifting capacity is 700 tons (2 x 350 tons com- FortheMPPsegment,whatfollowedwasanexciting18 bined) but with a third crane that will provide better outreachmonths with a cargo mix never seen before, sailings being fully and capability of loading more heavy lifts than the A Class.booked months in advance, and freight earnings the industry has not witnessed in recent times. Chinas continuous struggle with COVID-19 continued to affect vessel operation in main Chinese ports by means of extensive AJOT: In researching this Super B-Class MPV, there are claimsport congestion as a result of lack of labour and not only related this vessel has more flexibility and options, again, than earlierto stevedoring but also other vital services for the industry, vessels, and that it can call on smaller ports. Can you pleasesuch as Pilots, trucking, and manufacturing (plant shut down). amplify on these claims briefly? Similar trends also applied for main ports in North America. Henrik Hansen: Length overall of 180 metres and a max draftThe challenges surrounding the supply chain meantime have by 1 metre less than that the A Class will enable the Superbeen addressed and resolved. Commodities are now back with B-Class to call at some ports, which in the past were restrictedthe container operators, except for Rolling stock which contin-to AAL. Granted there are and will continue to be ports withues to be catered to MPP operators as the current RO/RO fleet strictrestrictions,evenforsmallertonnage,whichwewillnot able to meet the demand. not be able to consider. For such ports, in most cases there is always an alternative, for example another port close by and/or discharge at anchorage into barge etc. Referring to theAJOT: Interestingly, while near chaos was strangling the supply Asia-America trade lane and service structure, it includes portschain during that COVID time, AAL was named Best Shipping which are all suitable and able to accommodate our tonnage.Line-Project Cargo at the 2022 Asian Freight, Logistics and Deploying the Super B Class in this specific trade lane will notSupply Chain (AFLAS) Awards for the second year in a row. cause new challenges, on the contrary.Did the company engineer a particular strategy to cope with or overcome situations that would have jolted other project cargo carriers? Please explain.AJOT: Furthermore,AALpromotionalmaterialstatesthatHenrik Hansen: AALs strategy from the outset of our operations overall, the Super B-Class will meet the highest possible auto- in 1995 has always been to support the breakbulk and project mation and emission standards as well complying with IMOheavy lift market no matter what the challengesproviding (InternationalMaritimeOrganization)regulationsonemis- seamless service and capacity on those long-haul trades in sions and sustainability. Can you explain how that is possible? which we operate. During COVID, we harnessed our local port Henrik Hansen: AAL, obviously, operates in compliance withrelationships and on-the-ground partnerships to ensure that the IMO 2020 regulations. Some operators decided to equippotential disruption to our sailing schedulesdue to global their tonnage with scrubbers; we decided to consume bunkerCOVID restrictions and congestionwere mitigated. In fact, with max sulphur content of 0.5% to reduce the air pollutionduring COVID, (emission) for the benefit of the environment and future gen- We actually increased our footprint and fleet. After COVID, and erations. The next big step in an improved and healthy societyentering the container boom, this single-minded approach to is the implementation of IMO 2023 and the goal to reduce theserve our longstanding breakbulk, project and bulk commodity emission by 40% by 2030.customers stood us in good stead with the market, who had The Super B Class will consume low sulphur fuel, but the mainbeen let down by many other carriers, which had opted to take engines are designed to burn methanol. The global require- containerdollarsovertheirexistingcommitmentstoMPP ment/goal is clear: clean, green and no fossil fuel consump- customers. tion. Sustainability is high on the AAL agenda and something wetakeseriously.Astechnologyadvancesandadaptsto these new requirements, so will AAL and AAL tonnage. 16 AALs Hansen Explains the Super B-Class MPV'