Dip in fuel cost allows Matson to lower prices
Matson Navigation Co. said yesterday a drop in the price of bunker fuel costs has led it to lower its fuel surcharge by the largest amount since it was implemented nearly a decade ago.
MATSON'S 2008 FUEL SURCHARGES
Sept. 21: 37.50 percent
Aug. 31: 42.25 percent
July 13: 38.25 percent
April 6: 33.75 percent
Feb. 4: 31.5 percent
Source: Matson Navigation Co.
Hawaii's largest ocean shipper lowered its surcharge for Hawaii by 4.75 percentage points, to 37.5 percent from 42.25 percent, and its Guam and Micronesia rates by the same amount, to 39 percent from 43.75 percent, effective Sept. 21.
The move follows nine straight increases since the surcharge was last lowered on Jan. 28, 2007, to 17.5 percent from 18.75 percent. Matson has increased its rates four times this year, with the latest by 4 percentage points to 42.25 on Sunday.
"While crude oil and gasoline prices began to decline in August, Matson's expenses for bunker fuel, which is used to power its fleet, continued to climb," Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services, said in a statement. "Fortunately, Matson is now seeing the downward trend extend to bunker fuel costs, allowing the company to make this adjustment."
For most customers, the surcharge decrease will result in a reduction of shipping costs ranging to $180 from $115 per container, Hoppes said.
Rival Horizon Lines Inc. raised its fee by 4 percentage points to 42.25 percent from 38.25 percent on Monday. Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines increased its surcharge by 2.5 percentage points to 39.75 from 37.25 on Sunday.