TOTEÆS ôMIDNIGHT SUNö STARTS MAIDEN VOYAGE
The first of two new U.S.-flag commercial ships operated by Totem Ocean Trailer Express began its maiden voyage early Wednesday from Tacoma, Washington.
The “Midnight Sun,” will arrive at the destination port of Anchorage, Alaska, Saturday morning.
The roll-on/roll-off trailer vessel is the first commercial dry cargo ship built in the United States in 10 years. The ship was built by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. in San Diego, Calif.
The second new TOTE vessel, the “North Star,” is due for completion at NASSCO on June 14, and will operate in the carrier’s U.S. Pacific Northwest/Alaska service by August.
“Our multimillion dollar investment in both ships speaks loudly to TOTE’s belief in the future growth of these economies,” said Bob Magee, the company’s president and chief executive officer.
“The efficiencies of the ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘North Star’ will cover the long-term capital costs,” Magee said. “It is our wish to provide our customers the safest, most reliable, fastest service to Alaska.”
The 840-feet long by 118-feet wide ships are capable of being loaded and discharged in nine hours. TOTE’s terminal facilities in Tacoma and Anchorage have been restructured and expanded to accommodate the new ships.