The new garage on the MV Mokihana will expand Matson's car-shipping capacity by 120 percent. As with pure car carriers, the garage features a fully enclosed garage, ventilation, lighting and various safety components to minimize damage in transit.
Matson expands car-shipping capacity
Matson Navigation Co. has invested in modifications that will increase capacity and enhance shipping service in Hawaii.
A new garage on one of Matson Navigation Co.'s container ships, the MV Mokihana, will increase the company's roll-on, roll-off capacity in Hawaii by 120 percent. The modified ship set sail Nov. 27.
The fleet enhancement, part of a multiphase program that began in 2003, has increased 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. With the addition of garage capacity, Matson said that the combination vessel will offer clients a fast and economical way to ship vehicles. Modifications to the Mokihana allow for direct ro-ro service from the West Coast to and from Maui and the Big Island, reducing transit time and eliminating the transshipment process.
In addition to improvements on the Mokihana, Matson also has 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.
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, said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services.
"With these three flexible ro-ro/container ships, 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, which introduced ro-ro service to Hawaii in 1973, claims it is the state's leading carrier for both containers and automobiles. The company has multiyear agreements with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. for the carriage of their vehicles to and from Hawaii, and while the specifics of the agreements are confidential, they encompass service to all of Hawaii, including the neighbor islands. The company also has multiyear agreements with Dollar Thrifty Group, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Nissan.