Matson rising fuel surcharge

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Gas prices in Hawaii are already sky-high and the Matson Navigation Company is not going to help the problem. Matson announced Thursday that it is raising its fuel surcharge for its Hawaii service by four percentage points. That means it will be raising from 38.25% to 42.25%. Its Guam and Micronesia service will raised by four percentage points as well, from 39.75% to 43.75%. However, this increase will not be effective until August 31, 2008.

"While record high fuel prices are adversely impacting virtually all businesses, as well as consumers, transportation companies are particularly hard hit," said Dave Hoppes, Senior Vice President, Ocean Services. "Fuel costs comprise a substantial component of Matson's operating costs and are an unavoidable expense for transporting goods, both on land and at sea. Since April 2008, Matson's fuel costs have risen 48 percent. Matson continues to focus on operating the most fuel efficient fleet possible and has successfully implemented a number of initiatives designed to reduce overall fuel consumption. While there have been some encouraging signs of some stabilization in the world oil market in recent weeks, the change in prices has not yet been reflected in bunker fuel. We would clearly welcome a downward trend in fuel prices, allowing us to lower our fuel surcharge."

Matson is trying to keep prices down in order to offset the impact of record breaking fuel prices. They have taken a number of actions to reduce fuel consumption when it is possible, such as slowing the speed of its container ships, and temporarily removing one vessel from its Hawaii service to best meet current market conditions. In addition, Matson operates its four newest diesel powered container ships in its Long Beach, Hawaii, and Guam service, utilizing the most fuel efficient vessels in its fleet.