The parent company of interisland cargo carrier Young Brothers Ltd. intends to launch a new shipping service between the mainland and Hawaii that would go head-to-head with two existing competitors that bring the vast majority of goods to the state.
Tote Maritime, a subsidiary of Young Brothers owner Saltchuk, announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase four new ships that would be built by a shipyard in Philadelphia for the new service.
Tote also said it has begun discussions with state officials to rent space at Honolulu Harbor for cargo handling operations.
The deal remains tentative, but Tote expects to have an initial ship finished in early 2020 followed by a second ship in 2021.
“Tote is excited to bring our best-in-class service to the people of Hawaii,” Anthony Chiarello, company president and CEO, said in a statement.
Philly Shipyard Inc. announced in June that it had started building the first of four ships for a then-unidentified prospective customer.
If the plan is realized as envisioned, Tote would have four new ships to compete in Hawaii with Matson Inc. and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines. Matson operates about 10 ships in its Hawaii service. Pasha has six ships.
Tote operates ocean cargo service in Alaska and Puerto Rico. In addition to Tote and Young Brothers, Saltchuk owns Aloha Air Cargo, Hawaii Petroleum and Foss Maritime among other companies.