Gunderson delivers new barge for PNW-Hawaii service

Gunderson Marine & Iron, Portland, Or., has launched the Makani Loa, a new addition to Aloha Marine Line’s fleet of barges the company utilizes on the trade lane between the Puget Sound area and Hawaii. 

The 438-foot deck cargo barge was “specifically designed for every two-week freight service between Seattle and Honolulu,” said John Burdick, president and CEO of Lynden Inc., the barge company’s parent. 

Speaking at the barge’s recent launch in Portland, Burdick said that, “Of the 34 barges that we own and operate, 26 of them were built by Gunderson,” said Burdick. “The craftmanship of Gunderson employees, and their skill in welding and shaping steel, results in a superb vessel that lasts.”

According to the Hockema Group, the barge’s Seattle-based designer, Makani Loa has a deadweight capacity of 16,867 short tons and a deck loading capacity of 3,650 lbs/psf. The high efficiency hull is built with Hydra-Lift skegs and is fitted with 22-foot high cargo binwalls.

Makani Loa “is the first launch by Gunderson Marine & Iron since [Lynden] acquired the company in 2023,” said Dee Burch, president of Gunderson Marine & Iron. “The long tradition of building state of the art barges for Lynden is alive and well.”

In addition to its focused Aloha Marine Lines’ Seattle-Honolulu service, Alaska Marine Lines (AML) also provides barge service to and from Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada’s Yukon Territory for break-bulk and containerized cargo, as well as charter services and intermodal door-to-door freight management services for customers in the lower 48 states.

AML entire barge fleet undergoes major internal structural exams (ISE) by the Coast Guard twice every five years. The company also has a carefully coordinated schedule for maintenance and repair with three to six barges in drydock every year.