Hawaii-based regional marine carrier Matson, Inc. and General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard christened Matsonia, one of the largest combination container/roll-on, roll-off (“con-ro”) vessels in Matson’s fleet, in a ceremony July 2 at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard.
Matsonia joins Matson’s Lurline, which was put into service last year. Both vessels are part of the company’s Kanaloa Class, which represents the largest con-ro ships ever built in the United States, officials said. This is the fifth Matson ship to carry the name Matsonia, dating back to 1912. It is the fourth of four new vessels Matson has put into service since 2018.
Matsonia and Lurline are built on a 3,500 twenty-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) platform. They are 870 feet long, 114 feet wide (beam), with a deep draft of 38 feet, and weigh more than 50,000 metric tons. They are also among Matson's fastest vessels, with a top speed of 23 knots, helping ensure on-time deliveries in Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland, and Long Beach, the company said.
The ships feature an enclosed garage with room for approximately 500 vehicles, plus ample space for rolling stock and breakbulk cargo. They also include state-of-the-art green technology, including a fuel-efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems, and the first International Maritime Organization (IMO)-designated “Tier 3” dual fuel engines to be deployed in containerships regularly serving West Coast ports. Tier 3 engines reduce the levels of particulate emissions by 40% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 20%, as compared to Tier 2 standards, according to Matson.
“Matson is already benefiting from the speed, capacity, and improved environmental profile of the three new ships we've put into service since 2018," Matt Cox, Matson's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Matsonia will be our fourth new ship, completing a three-year fleet renewal program that positions us well to serve the needs of our communities in Hawaii for many years to come."
The ship will generate approximately 4.5 million man-hours of work opportunity for the U.S. mariners who will operate it and decades of steady work for all of the dockworkers and terminal personnel that move the cargo on and off Matson’s ships, company leaders said.