Business Report: A look at Matson shipping - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Business Report: A look at Matson shipping

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Maritime shipping is measured by FEUs, which stands for Forty-foot Equivalent Units.  That’s the standard size of a shipping container that fits on a big-rig truck. Two 20-foot containers would count as one FEU. Based on FEUs, Matson does half its entire business in Hawaii. Guam, Micronesia and South Pacific make up 11% of the total. Accounting for roughly a fifth each: Alaska and China.

The China Express works well for Matson, which charges a premium to haul cargo from China on a shorter route, and at a faster speed, than slow boats from Hong Kong. Sometimes traffic wanes when the big carriers get into a price war, but mostly it does well. Alaska is the new market. Matson bought Horizon's Alaska ops - just in time for the Alaskan energy recession.

Here in Hawaii, Pasha bought Horizon ops and had service problems that drove business to Matson. It's got its act together now and ready to compete in a way financially-strapped Horizon never could.

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