Matson's newest Aloha class ship comes to Guam

INAUGURAL STOP: Kaimana Hila, the newest Aloha Class containership, made its inaugural visit to Guam on Tuesday. Matson representatives celebrated with the help of local dignitaries and community members. Photo courtesy Matson

Matson's Kaimana Hila, one of two state-of-the-art Aloha Class containerships built by Philly Shipyard at a total investment of $418 million for the pair, arrived in Guam on Tuesday.

Matson announced that 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. The Kaimana Hila's inaugural trip to Guam was celebrated dockside at the Port Authority of Guam. 

"We are very proud to welcome Kaimana Hila to Guam," said Vic Angoco, senior vice president, Pacific. “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."

Bernie Valencia, vice president and general manager for Guam and Micronesia, said: "Matson is always looking for ways to better serve our customers in this 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.”

The ceremony was attended by about 80 people. Acting Gov. Josh Tenorio, along with Sen. Clynt Ridgell, chairman of Maritime Transportation, Capt. Theodore Bernhard, Port Authority of Guam board members Isa Koki and Anthony Chargualaf, and Port Authority of Guam acting Director Dominick Muña joined Valencia in the official kadenan katupat (“green” ribbon) cutting before boarding the vessel for a guided tour.

The Kaimana Hila was christened in March. Matson also recently christened Lurline, the first of two new Kanaloa Class combination container / roll-on, roll-off (“conro”) vessels, which will be placed into Hawaii service later this year, according to the Matson press release. The fourth new ship, Matsonia, will be delivered next year.

In addition to Kaimana Hila’s service to Guam, all new vessels will serve the Hawaii market, which is an important hub leading to Guam. Much of the island’s cargo from two of Matson’s U.S. mainland ports is relayed in Honolulu. Improving the reliability and efficiency of Matson’s Hawaii service also benefits customers in Guam, the release states. 

Kaimana Hila

“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 to provide reliable and timely 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 global fuel emission guidelines that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

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