Shipper Horizon lowers fuel surcharge
Horizon Lines Inc. has pulled back its record fuel surcharge for shipments between Hawaii and the mainland, after rival Matson Navigation Co. declined to follow its lead.
It is the second time this year Horizon, Hawaii's second-largest ocean shipper, has lowered its rate to match the larger ocean carrier, despite what it cited as an unprecedented spike in fuel costs.
Instead of boosting the surcharge by 4.5 percentage points -- an 11.8 percent gain -- to a record 42.75 percent on Aug. 17, Horizon announced yesterday that the fee will rise by 4 percentage points -- or 10 percent -- to 42.25 percent from 38.25 percent on Sept. 1. The latest increase matches Matson, which plans to raise the fee a day earlier.
"Horizon Lines is continuing to closely monitor fuel costs and will adjust the fuel surcharge as trends warrant," the company said on its Web site. A company representative didn't return a call asking for comment.
This will be the ninth consecutive hike by Horizon since January 2007 when the surcharge was 17.5 percent. The company last raised rates to 38.25 percent on July 14.
Horizon also has reduced the fuel surcharge on its Guam service route, which was set to rise by 4.5 percentage points -- or 11.3 percent -- to 44.25 percent from 39.75 percent on Aug. 17. It will now increase by 4 percentage points -- a 10 percent gain -- to 43.75 percent, also equal to Matson.
Meanwhile, Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines said its levy will increase by 2.5 percentage points -- or 6.7 percent -- to 39.75 from 37.25, effective Aug. 31.