Young Brothers Ltd
. announced it will spend $186 million over 10 years on a new fleet of barges, tugboats, shipping containers, lifts and other equipment.
The 106-year-old company is Hawaii’s largest interisland cargo line.
The company's first new barge, a car-carrying roll-on/roll-off barge that can transport 500 vehicles, is scheduled for delivery late this year, sources said. The vessel, which is enclosed to protect cars from sea spray and salt air, is now being designed by Glosten Associates Inc. of Seattle, a naval architecture firm.
The company now has 11 barges and eight tugboats, but plans to begin retiring some of those in the coming years. The new fleet of eight barges and six tugboats will replace the old vessels with more efficient ones.
Hong said the company expects to receive a new barge approximately
every year starting at the end of this year.
The price tag for the tugs and barges is expected to be about $130 million, company executives said.
The typical barge will cost about $8.5 million and the typical tugboat about $10 million. The rest of the investment, some $56 million, will go toward shoreside equipment, shipping containers and the like.
The company also plans to invest in new information management systems. Although relatively inexpensive compared with the new barges and tugboats, the technology systems are important because they will provide customers real-time data that they can use to track shipments.
In 2005, Young Brothers had 926 barge sailings, an increase of 36 percent over its 683 sailings in 2000.
Source: Star Bulletin