Singapore: The multipurpose (MPP) sector continues to face ever growing pressure from the container and bulker trades, squeezing freight rates, admits the boss of one of the leading names in the MPP segment. However, Kyriacos Panayides, managing director of AAL, says he is “cautiously optimistic” that freight rates will recover from 2015.
“Clearly there are uncertainties, which could impact on the heavylift sector,” he admits, “particularly in relation to the oil and gas industry, where a number of projects could be postponed on the back of falling oil prices.” However, the growth in renewables and the fact that many nations suffering from poor infrastructure with huge budgets are already placed on large projects, could act as a counterbalance to this, he reckons.
AAL has realised exponential growth over the last few years, doubling revenues and expanding its fleet, trade routes and services. The global expansion has coincided with a rebrand, the company acronyming its original name, Austral Asia Line, to better reflect its larger range of services around the world. The size of its fleet over the course of the this year will grow significantly with Panayides revealing to Maritime CEO plans to add more third party tonnage on long term charter.
“This significant investment will create a fleet in excess of 500,000 dwt and one of the sector’s largest, modern and youngest fleets within the multipurpose sector,” says Panayides. [06/01/15]