Pacific ocean regional marine carrier Matson Logistics Inc. has taken delivery of the first of two vast, new containerships built for the liner's Hawaii service at a cost of $418 million by Pennsylvania's Philly Shipyard Inc., Matson said Wednesday.
The 850-foot long, Aloha Class vessel is the largest containership ever built in the U.S., weighing in at over 51,400 metric tons and boasting the capacity to carry 3,600 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers.
The ship is so large that its propeller alone weighs 72 tons, and workers required 60,000 gallons of product to paint its hull. Despite its hulking size, the Daniel K. Inouye—named for Hawaii's late U.S. Senator—is also the fastest in Honolulu-based Matson's line, with a top speed in excess of 23 knots. A two-minute video shows a time-lapse movie of the ship's construction, which lasted from Aug. 2017 to March 2018.
Designed specifically for Matson's Hawaii service, the new ship brings greater cargo capacity as well as "green ship" technology such as a more fuel efficient hull design, dual fuel engines that can be adapted to use liquefied natural gas (LNG), environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, and fresh water ballast systems, Matson said.
The ship will embark on its 5,298-mile, 13-day maiden voyage to Oakland, Calif., via the Panama Canal on Nov. 7 before entering commercial service on Nov. 22. After a port call at Long Beach, Calif., the new vessel will make its first call at Honolulu on the morning of Nov. 28.
"This is a proud day for all of us at Matson," Matt Cox, Matson's chairman and CEO, said in remarks at the vessel's christening ceremony. "Over our first 136 years, Matson's fleet has evolved from sailing ships to larger steamers to diesel power, consistent with changes in technology and always evolving in step with the needs of a growing Hawaii economy."
"This new vessel, designed specifically to serve Hawaii and built with LNG-compatible engines, is the next generation of vessel and sets a new standard for cargo transportation in Hawaii," Cox said. "It also symbolizes Matson's continuing commitment to serving our Island home in the most efficient, effective and environmentally sound way into the future."