Lifting the bar
SAL Shipping’s fleet has a high service speed of up to 20 knots, and each vessel is able to offer extremely short transit times, which is crucial for time-sensitive cargoes.
Along with these high speeds, each of the 14 vessels is characterised by a lean structure and low draft. This ensures that they are highly flexible and well equipped to reach less accessible ports. With a crane capacity of up to 1400 tonnes, SAL’s vessels are able to rely on their own equipment for loading and discharging in most ports worldwide. In addition, all vessels are fully equipped with an inventory that includes forklifts, spreader bars, lifting beams, lashing and securing materials. All equipment on board is approved and classified by the world’s leading certification and classification societies.
“Our main asset is the strength of our fleet,” explains project director at SAL, Sune Thorleifsson. “We are positioned at the high end of the lift market, and we are constantly expanding the fleet. All our vessels are privately funded, meaning that we don’t need to rely on anybody else to finance the fleet.
“Following the successful delivery of four type 176 vessels with a lift capacity of 1400 tonnes at the start of 2009, we have commissioned the Sietas shipyard with the construction of two new vessels. The type 183 will be the largest and most modern heavy lift ships in the world, with a combined lift capacity of 2000 tonnes and a speed of up to 20 knots. These will be delivered in December 2010 and March 2011 respectively, making us the provider of the highest capacity heavy lift ship in the world.”
The type 183 is able to trade with an open hatch and can accommodate exceptionally large loads. The vessels will also be certified with an ‘environmental passport’ ensuring that they comply with the highest environmental protection specifications. These guidelines govern the vessel’s ecological impact on their environment and will ensure that the vessels are ready for employment in future markets, including wind energy, offshore oil and gas industries, industrial plants and other sectors.
With its main office located in Germany, SAL operates a global network of agents and representative offices situated in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, London Genoa, Fremantle and Helsinki. This worldwide representation ensures the efficiency of local cargo handling. The Shanghai office was established in 2001, to provide a direct representation of SAL in China and was followed by the Beijing office in 2007. The same year saw the launch of a new joint venture between SAL and ‘K’ Line, with the setup of a branch within ‘K’ Line’s Tokyo office, to consolidate the new partnership. Since September 2007, SAL established a base in the UK, with the SAL UK Representative Office, located in ‘K’ Line’s European headquarters in London. In 2009, SAL also opened offices in Genoa, Italy; Fremantel, Western Australia and Helsinki in Finland.
Recent work has included the lifting of an 800 tonne buoy for the Peregrino project in Brazil, as well as the booking and loading of the heaviest reactor out of a Mumbai port at the start of July. Sune elaborates on the company’s development within the current market situation: “I see a lot of opportunities, depending on the price of oil. No one is willing to speculate on the oil prices because they’ve been so erratic. If they remain stable at between 60 and 80 dollars per barrel, then the market will become stronger, providing us with the right conditions to grow further. The boom over the past five years means that a lot of ships have been built, so we have a lot of competition in the industry. This means we must be highly competitive and ensure that we work with the client in the very early stages to establish a secure partnership throughout the lifetime of the project.”
The history of SAL Shipping dates back to 1838, when the first sailing vessel, the SS Amoenitas, was delivered to the founding family, the Heinrichs, from the Sietas shipyard in Germany. Ever since that time the company has passed through five generations of ownership and continues to occupy itself with shipping work. In 1980, the modern SAL office was founded in Steinkichen, Germany and in 1984 the first geared vessels with 2 x 38 mtons SWL were ordered. Just over two decades later, the four new type 176 ships were launched. Each features cranes with a lift capacity of up to 700 tonnes each.
Since 2001, SAL has been under the joint management and ownership of the Heinrich and Rolner families, and has grown to a staff of over 75 at its main office, with around 500 crewmembers onboard vessels globally. Located about 30 miles outside the city of Hamburg on the south bank of the river Elbe is SAL’s main office. As the exclusive agent for one of the leading carriers, the company specialises in the worldwide transport of heavy lift cargo.
Products Heavy lift ships