Matson SPX service to offer transshipment at Samoa to Tahiti on Kyowa Line
by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, August 8, 2017
Matson Inc. posted to their website on August 7, 2017, a press release, “Matson extends South Pacific Express service to Tahiti,” implying their time-chartered containership SAMOANA will call directly at the port of Papeete on Tahiti – French Polynesia’s main port – as an additional port of call on its South Pacific Express (SPX) service from Honolulu to Pago Pago, American Samoa and Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa).
Their press release advises that Matson will begin accepting Tahiti cargo on the SPX service “with the departure of Samoana Voyage 007 from Honolulu on August 22, 2017 and first arrival at Papeete on September 4, 2017.”
However, checking Matson’s “South Pacific Express Connection Schedule” shows that cargo bound for Tahiti will be transshipped – or, relayed – at Samoa to a vessel of Kyowa Shipping Co Ltd. / Kyowa Line for delivery to Papeete beginning with Kyowa’s TROPICAL ISLANDER Voyage 119 arriving Papeete September 4, 2017.
Kyowa will provide the on-carriage from Samoa to Tahiti with its “South Pacific Service” which originates in Japan and South Korea and calls on eleven South Pacific Ports from Tarawa, Kiribati, to Papeete, Tahiti, with an approximately fortnightly frequency. The last two ports on the Kyowa Line South Pacific Service schedule are Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Papeete, Tahiti, which should provide an efficient transshipment arrangement.
Kyowa Line operates a total fleet of nine (9) multipurpose ships with stern ramps and cargo gear (cranes) employing four in its South Pacific Service the: CORAL ISLANDER, PACIFIC ISLANDER, TORPICAL ISLANDER and SOUTH ISLANDER.
In Micronesia, Kyowa Line also provides transshipment / relay services for Matson at Apra Harbor, Guam, to ports in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The cargo originates from Matson’s Transpacific service which calls weekly on Apra Harbor from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Long Beach, California.
In another development, Matson announced on July 25, 2017 that they acquired the German-built U.S.-flag containership MARSTAN from the foreign trade contractor Sealift Inc. (to be renamed KAMOKUIKI) to inaugurate a new direct service from Honolulu to three RMI ports during the first quarter of 2018.
We understand that once their Marshall Islands service is in place, Matson will no longer use Kyowa Line to transship cargo from Guam to RMI ports.
Related: Matson purchases second-hand ship for new Marshall Islands service