Heavy-lift operators RollDock and SAL Heavy Lift said they expect to improve vessel utilization and broaden coverage by sharing six dock vessels that handle cargoes that are rolled, floated, or lifted on and off ship.
The pool will consist of five RollDock vessels and one SAL ship. RollDock will contribute ships from its S and ST class, and SAL will provide a Combi Dock 1 class vessel. The vessels handle large cargoes that are floated on and off, lifted with ship’s gear, or rolled on and off over the vessels’ adjustable ramps.
RollDock and SAL said their pool is a first for dock ships. However, several breakbulk and project carriers have followed the lead of container lines by forming vessel-sharing alliances or other cooperative ventures during the last several years.
The new pool will be operated under the RollDock brand. Both companies will also continue independently and operate vessels outside the pool, which will be launched April 1.
RollDock and SAL officials said the agreement will benefit customers. “Our companies share the same philosophy on client focus, quality, innovation, and safety. With our pool, we will be offering a competitive yet high quality heavy transport service,” said RollDock CEO Paul Könst.
"Through a consolidation, we will see a better utilization of the vessels and because we share our network of offices and agents, we can offer global representation of heavy shipping disciplines,” said Martin Harren, CEO at SAL Heavy Lift.
Justin Archard, commercial director at SAL, said the agreement will enable SAL to remain in the roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) and float-on, float-off (flo-flo) markets while concentrating on lift-on, lift-off operations.
“SAL wants to keep its place in the ro-ro and flo-flo market, however we also realize that our core service is lift operations. Whenever clients look for heavy transportation — with lifting, rolling or floating services, or a combination — our setup offers them a one-stop shop."