TOTE Inc has committed to constructing two new state-of-the-art containerships for the Puerto Rico trade, with options for three more vessels for additional domestic service. This agreement with General Dynamics NASSCO represents a technological milestone in international shipping.
The vessels will be environmentally friendly containerships, with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions-per-container that are 71% less than vessels now in the Puerto Rican trade. Particulate matter will be reduced by 99%, sulfur oxides will be lowered by 98%, and nitrogen oxides will decrease by 91%. The 3,100-TEU vessels are expected to be the largest ships of any kind in the world powered primarily by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Both ships will be powered by dual-fuel LNG engines that surpass requirements of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s clean air regulations.
General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego CA will build the vessels, with construction expected to sustain 600 American shipyard jobs in Southern California. The first two vessels will be delivered and enter service between Jacksonville FL and San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2015 and 2016.
These new TOTE ships will employ a ship design that accommodates five times more 53-foot containers than current ships in Puerto Rico and will permit transport of everything from cars to corn syrup. The ships will include expanded volumes for refrigeration equipment, critical to ensure that pharmaceuticals, produce, and other foodstuffs vital to residents of Puerto Rico are delivered in the best possible condition.
The maritime shipping trade to Puerto Rico is an essential part of sustained economic development for the island. Total capital committed to the project is more than $350 million.
TOTE’s maritime subsidiaries include TOTE Shipholdings Inc, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, and Sea Star Line, which provide regular marine transportation for general cargo between the continental United States and Alaska and Puerto Rico. TOTE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources Inc, a family-owned, Seattle WA-based holding company of freight transportation and petroleum distribution companies.