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Largest U.S.-Built Containership Arrives in Hawaii for the First Time

Matson’s new vessel ‘Daniel K. Inouye’ making its first approach to Honolulu on its maiden voyage, November 28, 2018. Photo: Matson

The largest containership ship ever constructed in the United States arrived in Honolulu for the first time this week as part of its regular service connecting the U.S. mainland and Hawaii.

The ship, named Daniel K. Inouye in honor of Hawaii’s late senior U.S. Senator, is owned and operated by Matson, Inc. (NYSE: MATX), the leading U.S. carriers in the Pacific. It is the first of four new ships being built for Matson that will be introduced in its Jones Act Hawaii service over the next two years.

The Daniel K. Inouye was christened at Philly Shipyard back in June. Weighing in at over 51,400 metric tons, the 850-foot long, the 3,600 TEU vessel is also Matson’s largest ship and fastest, with a top speed in excess of 23 knots.

Matson says the arrival of Daniel K. Inouye marks the beginning of a nearly $1 billion investment by the company its Hawaii service over the next few years. The four new ships will complete a renewal of the company’s Hawaii fleet, and a terminal expansion and modernization project at its Sand Island facility in Honolulu.

“All four new vessels have been designed by Matson specifically for its Hawaii service and incorporate a number of ‘green ship technology’ features that will help protect the environment, including 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 in a press release.

“These new ships are the future for Hawaii shipping and will bring a new level of efficiency and reliability to our service,” said Matt Cox, chairman and chief executive officer. “The substantial investment in new technology underscores Matson’s long-term commitment to Hawaii and our desire to serve the Islands in the most advanced, environmentally friendly way for years to come.”