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Marine Log


December 14, 2007

Matson's Mokihana back in service after controversial rebuild

Matson Navigation Company's MV Mokihana has re-entered the company's Hawaii service following controversial modification work that involved adding a new auto garage. Much of the work was done in Nantong, China, causing the Shipbuilders Council of America and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines to take legal action questioning the ship's continued eligibility for Jones Act status.

You can read the most recent SCA and Pasha filing here, courtesy of Tim Colton's

Meantime, the new design increases Matson's Hawaii roll on-roll off ("ro-ro") capacity by 1,200 autos and provides new service features and efficiencies in addition to the ability to carry 1,000 containers.

The fleet enhancement is part of a multi-phase program commenced in 2003 to provide Matson's auto customers greater frequency of service and ro-ro capacity. In addition to the modifications to the Mokihana, Matson has also invested in an above-deck garage for its S.S. Lurline, made shoreside facility improvements and developed a new information technology platform for auto shipments.

"Matson's Mokihana is one of the largest vessels in our fleet and is diesel-powered, making it more fuel efficient," said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services. "With the addition of garage capacity, the combination vessel will provide the fastest and most economical method of shipping vehicles. As with pure car carriers, the garage features a fully enclosed garage, ventilation, lighting and various safety components to minimize damage in transit. The Mokihana is capable of carrying a wide variety of autos and rolling stock cargo, including large trailers and oversized vehicles and will complement 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. 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."