Horizon matches fee hike
The shipper follows rival Matson's increase in its fuel surcharge, to 33.75 percent
Horizon Lines, following in its chief rival's footsteps, said yesterday it was boosting its fuel surcharge 2.25 percentage points to a record 33.75 percent for ocean shipments between the mainland and Hawaii, Guam and Micronesia.
Horizon also announced yesterday it has implemented newly enhanced fuel efficiency and cost-management programs focused on conservation.
The new surcharge, which goes into effect April 7, matches a similar increase that Matson Navigation Co. announced last Friday for its Hawaii, Guam/ Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Micronesia services. Matson's increase is effective on April 6.
It is the seventh straight increase for both shippers since their fuel surcharge was lowered to 17.5 percent in January 2007. Among those items affected by the increase will be the cost of shipping a car, which will rise $17 to $1,072 from $1,055 for both companies.
Horizon said its operating costs have increased due to the rapid rise in bunker fuel prices and that raising the fuel surcharge would recover a portion of the company's increased cost.
"The rapid rise in fuel prices requires that we do even more to improve fuel efficiency and cost recovery across our entire network," said John Keenan, president of Horizon Lines LLC.
The company's fuel-saving initiatives include ship hull and propeller maintenance programs as well as working directly with each ship captain to identify appropriate changes in speed or course to lower overall fuel consumption while allowing ships to remain on schedule.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company also said it should see further fuel-efficiency improvements throughout this year due to its participation in the SmartWay Transport Partnership, which is a collaborative effort by the Environmental Protection Agency and the freight industry to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
Matson spokesman Jeff Hull said the Oakland-based company also has "a number of initiatives" to maximize fuel efficiency whenever possible.
"We have four new ships in our service and they are the most fuel efficient," Hull said. "And then there are other initiatives to help maximize fuel efficiency on older vessels."