American Shipper

Matson increases Hawaii ro/ro capacity with ship conversion

Matson increases Hawaii ro/ro capacity with ship conversion

Matson Navigation Co. Inc. has re-entered the vessel Mokihana into its U.S./Hawaii service after modification work that added roll-on/roll-off capability to the ship.

   The company said the conversion of the diesel-powered vessel increases its ro/ro capacity by 1,200 autos. In addition, Mokihana can carry 1,000 containers.

   “With the addition of garage capacity, the combination vessel will provide the fastest and most economical method of shipping vehicles,” said Dave Hoppes, Matson’s senior vice president of ocean services.

   The Mokihana is now capable of carrying a variety of autos and rolling stock cargo, including large trailers and oversized vehicles and will work alongside Matson’s other two combination ro/ro and container vessels, the Lurline and Matsonia.

   “With these three flexible ro/ro-containerships, Matson can now offer greater frequency of service and greater customization in shipping solutions,” Hoppes said. “And as we see greater volatility in the Hawaii auto market, we are pleased to note that the vessel’s capacity, revenue and profitability are not tied solely to vehicle shipments.”

   Matson first started ro/ro service to Hawaii in 1973 and has multiyear agreements with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors for the transportation of vehicles to and from Hawaii and the Neighbor Islands. In addition to GM and Ford, Matson has long-term contracts with Dollar Thrifty Group, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Nissan.

   Matson is a wholly owned subsidiary of Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Inc.