“It is very positive that ACL continues to invest in its ConRo traffic to North America. It is good for the Port of Gothenburg network, and not least for the Swedish trade and industry as a whole,” said Claes Sundmark, Vice President Business Area Cargo at the Port of Gothenburg.
ACL has been operating in Gothenburg since 1967. With its direct service between Gothenburg and the east coast of North America, it offers Swedish export and import companies links to Halifax, New York, Baltimore and Norfolk.
“The US is one of Sweden’s most important trading partners. There is a considerable demand for short lead times and efficient, safe cargo handling to and from the US. ACL has for several decades been the leading shipping company on this route and it is extremely pleasing to bring the new ships into service and provide customers with even better freight transport to the US,” said Anders Ivarsson, Commercial Operations Manager at ACL in Gothenburg.
Around 10% of Swedish containerised exports are bound for the US, making the country one of Sweden’s largest export partners outside Europe. A significant proportion of the exports are transported via one of ACL’s direct services from the Port of Gothenburg.
The vessels carry both containerised freight and rolling freight – freight that can be rolled onto the vessels, such as construction equipment, cars and boats. ACL’s wholly owned fleet comprises five conro ships (containers and ro-ro).
Despite the fact that the new vessels are not much longer or broader than the ones they are replacing, capacity will increase dramatically. The present ships can carry 1,850 TEUs whilst the new ones can carry 3,800 TEUs. Ro-ro cargo space will increase from 18,500 square metres to 28,900 square metres and the maximum ceiling height will increase from 6.2m to 7.4m.
The ships will have a new, efficient hull design, without a bulb, offering more effective propulsion.
The five new ships were built at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai and they will all be in operation by the second quarter of 2016. Atlantic Cartier, Atlantic Companion, Atlantic Compass, Atlantic Concert and Atlantic Conveyor will be gradually phased out.