Marad Joins PHTL in Lawsuit Against Travelers

Monday, April 1, 2002

Reprinted from JoC Week, April 15-21, 2002--In the latest twist in the saga of Pasha Hawaii Transport Line's tortured effort to enter the West Coast-Hawaii market as an auto carrier, the company has asked the Maritime Administration for access to funds to protect the rusting steel that was supposed to have been used to build the first of two 4,000-vehicle ro-ro ships.

The ships would compete against Matson Navigation in the $90 million per year Jones Act Hawaii auto-transport market, catering to auto shippers' preference for ro-ro ships over containers. Ship construction was suspended last July after the parent of shipbuilder Halter Marine filed for bankruptcy. Marad recently joined PHTL's lawsuit to force Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. to fund the completion of the $70 million vessel based on its performance bond. Since trial isn't scheduled until May 2003, the steel needs to be preserved through rust removal and recoating. PHTL still plans to build the ship and enter the market, though it will take more than a year to complete the vessel if and when construction is restarted.