Maui Business

Matson Lowers Surcharge 3rd Time Since August

October 5, 2011, 12:23 PM HST
* Updated October 5, 1:56 PM
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The Matson barge MV Maunalei. Photo courtesy of Matson.

By Sonia Isotov

Ocean freight carrier Matson Navigation Inc. announced today another 2% downward adjustment, the third since late August this year.

Matson announced it is decreasing its fuel surcharge by two percentage points, from 42.5% to 40.5% for its Hawaii service, and from 44% to 42% for its Guam/CNMI and Micronesia service, effective this Sunday, October 9, 2011.

With this latest adjustment, the fuel surcharge will have been decreased by seven percentage points in a six week period. A 2% reduction became effective August 28, followed by a 3% reduction on September 25, and now another 2%.

The cost of bunker fuel, which is the type of fuel consumed by most ocean carriers, rose faster over the past year than crude oil and has been slower in experiencing declines in prices. Fortunately, bunker fuel prices have moderated recently, allowing Matson to make this third decrease.

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“We are pleased to be able to pass along this third consecutive decrease, which for most customers represents a reduction in shipping costs ranging from $60 to $105 per container,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services, in a written statement. “Matson has made a practice of giving 30 days notice for upward rate adjustments, but as with previous decreases, we are passing on this downward adjustment to our customers as soon as possible.  We will continue to monitor fuel costs and adjust the surcharge accordingly.”

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