National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
a wholly owned subsidiary
of General Dynamics, has delivered the M. V. North Star to Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. (TOTE). The North Star is the second of two new Orca-class trailerships built by NASSCO for TOTE’s service from Tacoma, Wash., to Anchorage, Alaska. Her sister ship, the M. V. Midnight Sun, was delivered to TOTE in April.
Both ships are 840-ft.-long, 118-ft.-wide RoRo cargo ships capable of carrying
highway trailers as large as 53 feet in length. Cargo decks total 360,000 square feet and are able to carry up to 600 cargo trailers and 220 autos as well as oversized freight. The ships employ the latest in marine and environmental protection technologies, including twin-screw, diesel-electric propulsion that can achieve a speed of more than 24 knots. The speed and efficiency of the onload/offload process is an important competitive advantage for TOTE and the ships’ cargo can beloaded and discharged in nine hours.
"NASSCO has a long history of building commercial ships and we are pleased to see these new ships enter service," said Richard H. Vortmann, president of NASSCO. "They are the most advanced cargo ships we’ve ever built, and were designed to provide TOTE’s customers the safest, most reliable and fastest possible service to Alaska. Delivery of the TOTE ships continues the encouraging trend of U.S. domestic shipping companies replacing their aging Jones Act fleets," Vortmann added.
M. V. Midnight Sun and M. V. North Star have received several prestigious awards for their environmentally sensitive design features. These awards include the States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force Legacy Award for 2000, the Alaska Department
of Environmental Conservation Commissioner’s 2000 Pollution Prevention Award, and the U.S. Coast Guard’s William M. Benkert Foundation 2002 Environmental Excellence Bronze Award.