Shipping is Hawaii’s lifeline and our major shippers have been investing millions this year to keep their fleets up to speed. Pacific Business News Editor in Chief, A. Kam Napier, has more.
Matson Navigation Company is building up a fleet of 10 vessels with investments that total nearly a billion dollars. The shipping company recently announced it had contracted with General Dynamics NASSCO, in San Diego, to build two of its new Kanaloa Class vessels, at a total cost of $511 million. The 869-foot-long vessels will enter into service in 2019 and 2020. In a nod to company history, the ships will be called the Lurline and the Matsonia, names that have graced about a half-dozen previous vessels, each, in their fleet.
This investment is on top of an ongoing contract for two new Aloha Class containerships being built at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, for a total of $418 million. These should enter service in 2018 and 2019. All four vessels are larger than Matson’s current ships and more fuel-efficient.
Young Brothers is making investments, too. The interisland shipper has ordered four new tugboats, for a total of $80 million, from Conrad Shipyard of Morgan City, Louisiana. These boats should be nudging barges into place at Neighbor Island ports in 2018 and 2019. Called the Kapena, or “Captain,” Class, the new tugs will be named after former Young Brothers captains.