Matson lowers fuel fee


POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2008

Matson Navigation Co. said yesterday it is lowering its fuel surcharge for the fifth consecutive time in less than two months for shipments between the mainland and Hawaii, reflecting an ongoing decline in bunker fuel prices.





Fuel Surcharges for matson in 2008

        » Nov. 16: 19.5%
» Nov. 2: 25%
» Oct. 19: 27%
» Oct. 12: 33.0%
» Sept. 21: 37.50%
» Aug. 31: 42.25%
» July 13: 38.25%
» April 6: 33.75%
» Feb. 4: 31.5%

The surcharge decrease of 5.5 percentage points to 19.5 percent from the 25 percent set less than two weeks ago will go into effect Sunday, sending the fuel surcharge for Hawaii's largest ocean shipper to its lowest level in one-and-a-half years.

For most customers, the new rates will reflect a decrease in shipping costs ranging from $120 to $200 each container, said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services. Matson is passing the decrease to customers before the 30-day rate adjustment notification period.

The price of bunker fuel grade 380 out of Vancouver, British Columbia, was $272 yesterday, 16.9 percent lower than the price of $327.50 on March 11, 2007, the last time Matson's fuel surcharge was 19.5 percent. Matson spokesman Jeff Hull said fuel prices vary by port.

Including the latest adjustment, Matson will have lowered its fuel surcharge by 22.75 percentage points since Sept. 20, representing an overall decrease in cost from $530 to $845 a container. The company on Sept. 21 implemented its first fuel-surcharge decrease after nine straight increases since Jan. 28, 2007.

An outside representative of Charlotte, N.C.-based rival Horizon Lines Inc., which typically matches Matson's rate adjustments, said the company had not yet seen the posted tariff adjustment. Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines LLC, whose fuel surcharge is at 22.5 percent, will reduce its fee to 17 percent, effective Nov. 23, according to General Manager Reggie Maldonado.

Matson's fuel surcharge adjustment for its Hawaii, Guam/Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia service routes also was dropped 5.5 percentage points, to 21 percent from 26.5 percent, effective Sunday.

The 5.5 percentage-point decrease for the Hawaii-mainland and Hawaii-Guam routes is slightly less than the largest drop of 6 percentage points on Oct. 19 since the surcharge was implemented more than nine years ago.