Suardíaz Shipping Lines has added a pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) to its car carrier fleet in Europe, bringing the number to nine. The M/V Asturias (formerly Viking Amber) joined the service on May 1 and will operate on the Atlantic corridor between Morocco and Northern Europe. The Spanish logistics provider said has capacity for 4,200 CEUs and would improve its service for Renault, Stellantis and Toyota.

Asturias mayo 2024

Suardíaz put the M/V Asturias in its fleet at the beginning of May this year

In the first quarter of 2024 Suardíaz shipped around 150,000 finished vehicles along with a significant amount of trailers and machinery.

The Asturias will also be able to carry high and heavy cargo for customers in North African and Northern Europe. Suardíaz said that the vessel will also be able to provide short-sea capacity to other shipping lines with connections to the ports of Antwerp-Bruges, Bremerhaven or Southampton. It will offer a departure every five days from the ports in rotation.

According to Suardíaz the latest acquisition is part of a five-year $100m investment plan. “With the incorporation of the vessel Asturias we continue with our plan to renew our fleet and reduce emissions with vessels of greater efficiency and capacity to respond to market demand,” said Juan Riva, CEO of Suardíaz Group. “In this way, we consolidate Suardíaz Group’s position in the automotive industry market.”

Suardíaz confirmed that it had bought the vessel from Gram Car Carriers, the previous owner of the vessel, which was looking for $64.6m to capitalise on high second-hand vessel values at a time of short capacity in maritime finished vehicle transport. 

Last November, Suardíaz and Peel Ports in the UK invested £10m ($12.4m) to develop a Green Automotive Hub for Stellantis, which Suardíaz will manage. The hub is receiving EV parts shipments from Spain via the port of Vigo and delivered to a new logistics hub at Merseyside docks in the UK.

Suardíaz Shipping Lines’ car carrier fleet: Asturias, L’Audace, Bouzas, Suar Vigo, Mosel Ace, Lake Kivu, Friedrich Russ, Napoli and Mistral