Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has bought a 60% stake in Abnormal Load Services Holding (ALS), a UK-based high-and-heavy-equipment logistics provider that specialises in ‘out of gauge’ transport and supply chain services.

ALS will now become an integrated part of WWL, enhancing the Norwegian logistics provider’s services for existing and new customers in the break bulk sector and benefiting ALS customers through WWL’s established reach. The business will adopt the title Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Abnormal Load Services (WWL ALS).

“This opportunity makes perfect sense as both companies serve a global client base,” said René Van De Vin, CEO at ALS. “By combining our skills and resources we will open up further opportunities for WWL and ALS’ customers, prospective clients, suppliers and employees.”

WWL already provides transport and logistics services for high-and-heavy and break-bulk cargo. In May this year it made its first call to Adelaide in Australia on its route from Europe via North America based on a significant increase in high-and-heavy traffic to the region.

ALS, meanwhile, has been in the business of moving ‘abnormal loads’ since 1980.

WWL said the creation of the new division closes an important network gap in terms of offering consistent and competitive transport and distribution solutions for high-and-heavy wheeled and tracked equipment, such as agricultural and construction machinery.

“Today OEM’s are forced to look at the supply chain in a fragmented fashion due to a lack of integrated service providers,” said Erik Noeklebye, WWL head of Region Europe. “Ocean transport, land transport, technical services [and] plant handling are often contracted separately, forcing the OEM to involve a lot of resources to manage a fragmented supply chain, driving costs up and quality down.”

In other news, WWL recently received its latest Mark V ro-ro vessel, the fourth to be delivered from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The vessel was named Salome by Anke Koeckler, managing director of Volkswagen Group Australia at a ceremony held in Sydney Harbour, Australia at the beginning of the month.

“Salome is a welcome enhancement to our ocean service, reflecting WWL’s effort over the years to develop our offering in response to the growing customer demand for supply chain solutions,” said Rob Lord, WWL head of Oceania.

The Mark V vessels are the newest and largest ro-ro vessels in the world, offering more than 50,000 square meters in deck area and a 12 meter wide ramp with a weight capacity of 500 tons, able to take on the sort of product mix typical of the break bulk sector while also accommodating volume vehicle shipments.