Saltchuk company TOTE has announced plans to begin a new domestic shipping service to connect the US mainland with Hawaii.
The company previously signed of a letter of intent (LoI) with Philly Shipyard in July for the construction and sale of up to four new, environmentally advanced containerships, which will be custom-built for the initiative.
TOTE also started discussions to secure the new deep-water Kapalama Container Terminal (KCT) in Honolulu, Hawaii, to launch the planned service.
The new vessels are expected to enter service by early 2020 and 2021.
The company noted that the delivery of the containerships will be a critical step for the new shipping service, as new environmental regulations are set to take effect in 2020.
TOTE president and CEO Anthony Chiarello said: “TOTE’s presence on the islands will provide market stability and introduce new environmentally advanced vessels that will greatly benefit the islands.”
“TOTE’s commitment is to provide superior service for our customers, as well as the communities we serve, ensuring that goods arrive on time week in and week out.
“TOTE will bring the same commitment to our Hawaii operations to ensure maritime transportation is industry leading.”
TOTE and its operating companies currently provide shipping services to Alaska, US, and Puerto Rico.
The company has also invested more than $600m to convert its vessels to be able to run on natural gas, which is expected to reduce the environmental impact of its shipping operations.