AAL Shipping (AAL) marked the 25th year anniversary of the establishment of 'AAL China' in 2023, as it cited milestones and continued commitment to the region moving forward.
The breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo operator said its 25 years of own operations in China have seen it establish offices and teams of shipping professionals in Beijing and Qingdao, as well as its regional headquarters in Shanghai.
This has also coincided with the country's economic rise — seeing an average annual growth of 9.5% from 1978 to 2019, almost doubling the size of its economy every eight years and becoming the second-largest economy in the world in 2011.
"As China continues to see economic growth through its re-emergence from the pandemic lockdown and its dual circulation policy, AAL remains committed to serving the Chinese market and multipurpose cargo stakeholders," AAL said.
The breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo operator noted that last year, China registered a trade surplus of US$877.6 billion, with a jump of 7% in exports and 1.1% in imports compared to 2021.
"AAL started its shipping operations at the beginning of 1995, providing a breakbulk, multipurpose liner service between South-East Asia and Papua New Guinea, Queensland, and the Northern Territories of Australia. For over two decades, Shanghai has been our home port and number one for cargo calls – representing almost 18% of our export cargo volumes from China," commented Jack Zhou, general manager of AAL China.
"Over the last decade alone, we have seen our Chinese export volumes grow by 240% and imports by 150%. During this time, we have called Chinese ports close to 1,600 times," he added.
Zhou noted that in 1998, AAL opened its first representative office in Shanghai, and AAL have "never looked back" since.
AAL noted that despite geopolitical issues, the Chinese economy continues to rebound and "there is a very clear pattern of continuous growth."
China recently set itself a 5% economic growth target for this year.
Kyriacos Panayides, chief executive officer of AAL, said as the company marks its 25th year in China, AAL will "maintain a reliable local supply chain to serve the Chinese multipurpose and project heavy lift market while continuing to boost our seaborne trade volumes through the region."
"With decades of strong investment, China has transformed into a supply chain behemoth and has so much to offer the global multipurpose cargo sector and the dynamic industries it supports, and we will continue to work closely with our local stakeholders to build our services and provide solutions for them," he said.
"As AAL Shipping moves forward, it remains committed to serving the market and is optimistic about China's economic prospects," Panayides added.