Two of the leading operators in the heavy lift and project cargo business are proposing to form a joint venture to enhance operating efficiencies as they seek to realize the emerging opportunities in the sector. SAL, the German-based breakbulk and project cargo specialist, and Jumbo Marine, the Dutch maritime heavy lift transport and installation contractor, intend to form a joint venture.

According to the companies, combining a large part of their fleets, engineering, and commercial activities will ensure sustainable transport capacity and set the businesses up for growth. Jumbo, for example, has found new opportunities such as with wind farm construction. The largest project in the history of the company involved transporting 40 monopiles, 120 monopile sections, and 40 transition pieces from yards in the Netherlands and Germany to Taiwan for the Yunlin offshore wind farm. Some of the company’s other recent heavy lifts included a gigantic 1435 ton shiploader moved from Vietnam to Canada and a record heavy lift with four 2086 ton reactors for a clean fuel project in Thailand.

The Jumbo-SAL-Alliance would be focused on gaining logistical efficiencies, such as joint fleet operations the companies said in their joint announcement. Benefits for customers, they said would include increased flexibility and offering worldwide logistics solutions for both breakbulk and outsized cargoes.

SAL, since its 2017 acquisition by Germany’s shipowner Harren & Partner, has been working to consolidate its position in the lift and project cargo sectors. In the fall of 2020, for example, SAL acquired Intermarine, a U.S. shipping company specializing in heavy lift and breakbulk shipping in the Americas. Operating for over 30 years, Intermarine provided breakbulk liner services between North America and South America and in the Caribbean. The company had developed a strong intra-South America trading network.

The company has also been looking to expand on its brand recognition. In January 2021 they announced the expansion of the SAL brand with the launch of a new company focusing on the offshore wind industry. The company’s existing jack-up crane vessel was assigned to the new operation with the new company saying the vessel was ideally suited for offshore wind maintenance projects as well as the installation of wind turbine parts.

The joint venture between Jumbo and SAL is subject to clearance by the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt) and Dutch in-company legal requirements.

Source: www.maritime-executive.com