Matson and Philly Shipyard christen largest containership built in U.S.

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Daniel K. Inouyie afloat in the Philly Shipyard building dock

JULY 2, 2018 — Matson, Inc.and Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSI), christened the largest containership ever built in the United States in a June 30 ceremony at the shipyard.

The new vessel is named Daniel K. Inouye in honor of Hawaii’s late senior U.S. Senator, a longstanding supporter of the U.S. maritime industry and its important role in supporting Hawaii’s economy. Irene Hirano Inouye, Sen. Inouye’s wife, officially christened the vessel by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne against its hull.

The vessel is the first of two new ships being built for Honolulu-based Matson by Philly Shipyard at a total cost of approximately $418 million for the pair, and the first of four new ships that Matson will put into its Hawaii service during the next two years.

“This is a proud day for all of us at Matson,” said Matt Cox, Matson’s chairman and chief executive officer, at the shipyard ceremony. “Over our first 136 years, Matson’s fleet has evolved from sailing ships to larger steamers to diesel power, consistent with changes in technology and always evolving in step with the needs of a growing Hawaii economy.

“This new vessel, designed specifically to serve Hawaii and built with LNG-compatible engines, is the next generation of vessel and sets a new standard for cargo transportation in Hawaii. It also symbolizes Matson’s continuing commitment to serving our Island home in the most efficient, effective and environmentally sound way into the future,” Cox said.

Steinar Nerbovik, Philly Shipyard President and CEO, said, “It is with tremendous gratitude and pride that we celebrate the christening of Daniel K. Inouye, alongside Matson, a returning customer. When this ship is delivered, no matter where it travels, it will represent the finest craftsmanship of Philadelphia shipbuilders, and fulfill our promise to provide American built and owned ships that will safely and securely service our nation.”

The ceremony included a gathering of approximately 350 attendees including Matson and PSI executives, shipyard workers and union leaders. Speakers included Dr. Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President of the United States, Director of Trade and Industrial Policy and the Director of the White House National Trade Council; Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, Administrator of the Maritime Administration; General Darren W. McDew, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM); and former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell.

The 850-foot long, 3,600 TEU capacity Daniel K. Inouye is not only the largest containership ever constructed in the U.S., it is also Matson’s fastest vessel, with a top speed of nearly 24 knots, helping ensure on-time deliveries in Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.

As Matson’s first “Aloha Class” containership, Daniel K. Inouye incorporates 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.

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