Matson, Inc. celebrated the inaugural arrival of its newest Aloha Class containership Kaimana Hila during a dockside event at the Port Authority of Guam Tuesday.
According to a Matson release, Kaimana Hila will serve Guam as a part of Matson’s weekly scheduled service, delivering cargo from the West Coast of the U.S. mainland and Hawaii.
Christened in March of this year, Kaimana Hila is the second of two state-of-the-art Aloha Class containerships built for Matson by Philly Shipyard at a total investment of approximately $418 million for the pair.
Matson also recently christened Lurline, the first of two new Kanaloa Class combination container / roll-on, roll-off vessels, which will be placed into Hawaii service later this year. The fourth new ship, Matsonia, will be delivered next year.
“We are very proud to welcome Kaimana Hila to Guam,” said Vic Angoco, senior vice president, Pacific, in a statement. “Guam has been an important hub for Matson for close to 25 years. These new vessels herald a new era in shipping for Matson and will allow us to serve our customers better than ever for decades to come.”
In addition to Kaimana Hila’s service to Guam, all new vessels will serve the Hawaii market, which is an important hub for Guam since much of the island’s cargo from two of Matson’s U.S. mainland ports is relayed in Honolulu and improving the reliability and efficiency of Matson’s Hawaii service also benefits customers in Guam.
Bernie Valencia, vice president and general manager for Guam and Micronesia said Matson is always looking for ways to better serve its customers in the region. “We were very excited to receive the news that Kaimana Hila would be deployed to Guam. The addition of the new vessel will significantly increase capacity and further improve on-time performance, which is what our customers rely on Matson to deliver,” she said.
According to the Matson release, the inaugural ceremony was attended by approximately 80 people, including dignitaries, industry partners, and Matson staff. Acting Governor Josh Tenorio, along with Senator Clynt Ridgell, chairman of the legislative maritime transportation committee, Capt. Theodore Bernhard, Port Authority of Guam board members Isa Koki and Anthony Chargualaf, and Port Authority of Guam Acting Director Dominick Muña who joined Valencia in the official ribbon-cutting before boarding the vessel for a guided tour.
“Kaimana Hila” is a Hawaiian transliteration for “Diamond Head,” the name of Hawaii’s iconic landmark crater near Waikiki Beach.
Weighing in at over 51,400 metric tons, the 850-foot long and 3,600 TEU capacity, sister ships Kaimana Hila and Daniel K. Inouye are the largest containerships ever constructed in the U.S. They are also Matson’s fastest vessels, with a top speed of nearly 24 knots, helping ensure on-time deliveries in Guam and Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.
In addition, both Aloha Class vessels incorporate the latest environmentally friendly technology, including dual fuel engines that can be adapted to use liquefied natural gas (LNG), double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and a more fuel-efficient hull design.
All Matson vessels will meet the new and emerging International Maritime Organization (IMO) global fuel emission guidelines that go into effect on January 1, 2020.