Matson Orders New Containerships


December 2013


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First ‘Aloha Class’ Vessel Will Be Named the Daniel K. Inouye


New jobs for SIU members are on the way following the Nov. 6 announcement that Matson Navigation Company has signed a contract with Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI) to build two new 3,600 TEU containerships. The new vessels, which will sail in the Jones Act trade, will be equipped with dual fuel engines that have liquefied natural gas (LNG) capability and are expected to be delivered in the third and fourth quarters of 2018.


The SIU represents steward department mariners on Matson vessels. Matson also announced that the first of the two new ships will be named after the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), who was a longstanding supporter of the U.S. maritime industry and its role in supporting Hawaii’s economy. Inouye, a close friend of the SIU, passed away in December 2012.


“We are pleased to introduce the Aloha Class containership, built specifically to meet Hawaii’s future freight demands with increased cargo capacity,” said Matt Cox, president and CEO of Matson. “The new ships are designed to accommodate the diversified mix of cargo needed to support the state’s economy and will boost our capacity for moving 45-foot containers and refrigerated cargo. The ships will also carry construction materials more effectively. Most importantly, this considerable investment underscores Matson’s long-term commitment to providing Hawaii with a strong, reliable lifeline to and from the U.S. mainland.”


He added the decision to name the first ship in honor of Inouye “was a natural one. He left an unparalleled legacy in Hawaii history, and was a true champion of the U.S. Merchant Marine. He is recognized throughout the maritime industry as one of its most powerful advocates. Having a modern, U.S.-flag containership dedicated to serving Hawaii bear his name is an appropriate tribute to this great man.”


It is believed the 850-foot-long vessels will be the largest Jones Act containerships ever constructed; they are designed to operate at speeds in excess of 23 knots, ensuring timely delivery of goods in Hawaii. Importantly, the ships will also be able to navigate safely into some of Hawaii’s smaller ports. The new vessels will incorporate a number of “green ship technology” features such as a fuel-efficient hull design, dual-fuel engines, environmentally safe double-hull fuel tanks and freshwater ballast systems.


Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market. The shipyard – which employs union workers – delivered four newly built Jones Act containerships for Matson between 2003 and 2006.


 “We have a proven track record of building containerships and are greatly looking forward to being partnered with Matson again,” said Aker Philadelphia Shipyard President and CEO Kristian Rokke. “The winning of this order provides the shipyard significant backlog and valuable visibility out to 2018.”




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