Höegh Autoliners bags long-term deal with East Asian auto giant ahead of Aurora-class fleet debut

Oslo-based shipping company Höegh Autoliners ASA has revealed a new contract with a major East Asian car producer to transport cars, predominantly electric vehicles (EVs), from Asia to Europe.

Illustration only; Image by Höegh Autoliners

Valid until the conclusion of 2028, the agreement signifies a significant step for the company in the automotive logistics sector. The name of the automaker or the value of the deal were not disclosed.

With that in mind, the contract announcement was made in line with Höegh Autoliners’ broader initiative to enhance transparency and disclose monthly trading updates and new contracts, with mutual rate and volume commitments exceeding a total value of $100 million.

“We are happy to be chosen as the preferred shipping partner for another world-leading car producer. We take pride in the trust given to us for bringing their prestigious brands to their end users in Europe in the upcoming years. The trade from East Asia to Europe is one of our core trades where we are offering our customers quality transport with high frequency and competitive transit times,” Andreas Enger, the CEO of Höegh Autoliners, said.

Enger underscored Höegh Autoliners’ commitment to sustainability within the deep-sea car transportation industry, highlighting the company’s proactive measures in reducing its own and customers’ carbon footprint.

Notably, starting from the second half of this year, Höegh Autoliners will start taking delivery of its Aurora-class newbuilds, the company’s flagship vessels recognized for being the largest and most carbon-efficient car carriers in the industry.

“From the second half of this year, we will provide our customers with the opportunity to transport their cargo on our flagship Aurora-class newbuilds, being the largest and most carbon-efficient car carriers in the industry. This offering embodies our commitment to delivering unparalleled service while at the same time being a frontrunner for sustainable shipping,” Enger added.

Designed to accommodate up to 9,100 cars, the Aurora class vessels will have the ability to operate on zero-carbon ammonia, making them the first of their kind in the PCTC segment.

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With the recently lifted options, the company has twelve multi-fuel and net zero carbon-ready Aurora class vessels on order. Höegh Autoliners has the option to build another four vessels (vessels 13-16) as well as slot reservations for an additional four vessels (vessels 17-20).

The first two ships from the series are expected to be delivered in H2 of 2024.

Höegh Autoliners has committed to powering at least 5% of its deep-sea operations with green ammonia by 2030. The goal is to run its fleet on at least 100,000 metric tons of green ammonia by that same year.