Maui Business

Matson Lowers Fuel Surcharge 2% for Hawaii, Guam, Micronesia

August 19, 2011, 12:51 PM HST
* Updated August 19, 2:31 PM
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The Matson barge MV Maunalei. Photo courtesy of Matson.

By Sonia Isotov

Effective August 28, Matson says it will reduce its fuel surcharge by two percentage points for its services to Hawaii, Guam/Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), and Micronesia.

Due in part to the recent declines in bunker fuel prices, Matson is able to pass on this reduction to its customers, which will result in a decrease from 47.5% to 45.5% for its Hawaii service, and from 49% to 47% for its Guam/CNMI and Micronesia service. Bunker fuel is the type of fuel consumed by most ocean carriers.

“We are pleased to be able to pass this decrease along to our customers, which for the most part 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.

“Sustained high fuel prices have made 2011 a very challenging year for many businesses. Transportation companies have been particularly hard hit, with fuel consumption an unavoidable and significant component of operating costs.  In addition, the price for bunker fuel has risen faster over the past year than crude oil.  While we are encouraged by the recent moderation of bunker fuel costs, allowing us to make this decrease, they have not mirrored the recent downward movement of crude oil prices; bunker fuel remains at unusually high levels, exceeding the cost of crude oil,” explained Hoppes.

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Hoppes also mentioned that Matson normally gives 30 days notice for upward rate adjustments, but passes on downward adjustment to customers as soon as possible, and will continue to monitor fuel costs and make adjustments made accordingly.

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