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HONOLULU, HI: August 21, 2017. Tote Maritime, part of the Alaska-based Saltchuck logistics group, is to launch a new ocean service to Hawaii from the U.S. West Coast in competition with Matson Line and Pasha Hawaii.

philly shipyardIn July, Tote signed a Letter of Intent for two 3,700 TEU containerships plus two options with Philadelphia-based Philly Shipyard (PSI) for delivery in 2020 and 2021. The shipyard (right) is currently building two 3,600-TEU vessels for Matson.

PSI says the timing is right for a new Hawaii service and has hired John Keenan, former president and COO of Horizon Lines from 2007 to 2011, to assist in the process. Horizon was bought by Pasha Hawaii in 2014. PSI is majority-owned by Norwegian investment company Aker Capital.

Tote said the newbuilds are required to meet new environmental regulations due to come into force in 2020 and the service would only be viable with guaranteed access to the new deep water Kapalama Container Terminal (KCT) in Honolulu.

"Tote is excited to bring our best-in-class service to the people of Hawai'i," noted president and CEO Anthony Chiarello "Tote's presence on the islands will provide market stability and introduce new environmentally advanced vessels that will greatly benefit the islands."

Tote operates domestic U.S. liner services from Alaska and Puerto Rico including the world's first LNG-powered containerships.

Saltchuk companies serving Hawaii include Aloha Air Cargo, Aloha Tech Ops, Foss Maritime, Young Brothers, Hawaii Petroleum, Minit Stop and Ohana Fuels.

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