Maui Business

Matson Lowers Fuel Surcharge Again

September 22, 2011, 3:15 PM HST
* Updated September 22, 3:44 PM
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The Matson barge MV Maunalei. Photo courtesy of Matson.

By Sonia Isotov

For the second time in a month, Matson Navigation Company has lowered its fuel surcharge, resulting in a combined total reduction of 5% since August 19.

As a result of continuing declines in bunker fuel prices, Matson announced today that it is decreasing its fuel surcharge by three percentage points, from 45.5% to 42.5% for its Hawaii service, and from 47% to 44% for its Guam/CNMI and Micronesia service, effective this Sunday, September 25, 2011.

Previously, on August 19, Matson had lowered its fuel surcharge by two percentage points, effective August 28, due to a decline in bunker fuel prices. At that time, Matson decreased its fuel surcharge from 47.5% to 45.5% for its Hawaii service, and from 49% to 47% for its Guam/CNMI and Micronesia service.

This adjustment, combined with the 2% decrease that became effective August 28, results in an overall five percentage point reduction in Matson’s fuel surcharge in the past month.

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“We are pleased to be able to pass along this second consecutive decrease, which for most customers represents a reduction in shipping costs ranging from $90 to $150 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.

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“Transportation companies have been particularly hard hit, with fuel consumption an unavoidable and significant component of operating costs.  In addition, 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 any declines in prices. We are encouraged by the recent moderation of bunker fuel costs, allowing us to make this second decrease. 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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