Matson Begins New Monthly Shipping Service To Tonga

Maiden voyage of the MV Islander arrives in Nuku‘alofa 

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, August 24, 2016) – Matson launched a new shipping service connecting the United States West Coast and Hawaii to Tonga on Tuesday, 23 August, following the arrival of a maiden voyage of the MV Islander in Nuku’alofa the previous day.

This new connection will provide a regular 28-day service to Tonga. It will also serve the Samoas and Fiji, and utilizes Matson terminals in Honolulu and the West Coast, USA. The new Pacific Islands service is additional to its current service from New Zealand to Nuku’alofa and Vava’u.

Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala accompanied by Crown Princess Sinaitakala attended the blessing of the vessel’s maiden voyage, at the Queen Salote Wharf.

Michael Jones, Matson Strategic Development Manager and an ex-All Blacks rugby player, said they were excited that they could now offer access to USA and Hawai for importers and exporters and for family in Hawaii and mainland USA.

He said this service also provides a direct link into the Fiji market for Tonga produce and exports and enhances their current links from Apia and Pagopago.

“As an independent shipping company, Matson has quickly built a reputation for reliability and dependability and the feedback from our customers and the wider community has been extremely positive.”

Matson Senior Vice-President for the Pacific, Vic Angoco said they are happy and proud to be in Tonga to launch this new service for the community. He said they started with Royco and were the first shipping line in their agency business.

“They did a fantastic job for us. But when we started this new service from the U.S. Royco also represents our competition. So we can't have two competitors being represented by one company. We separated on good terms, and we are now at the Kingdom Shipping Ltd., while Royco continues to do our stevedoring at this point,” he said.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2016 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

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This is economical growth and progress to all these Pacific Island countries. This is great and looking forward for a long term services developments.

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