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Matson's basic shipping rate will rise 3.8% next year

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:45 p.m. HST, Nov 23, 2010

Matson Navigation Co. said it plans to raise the basic rate on its Hawaii service by an average of 3.8 percent at the beginning of next year.

The state's largest ocean shipping company said Hawaii rates will increase $120 per west-bound container and $60 per east-bound container starting Jan. 2.

The increase compared with annual hikes of 3.8 percent in 2010, 3.9 percent in 2009, and 2.5 percent in 2008.


2011 ? 3.8 percent
2010 ? 3.8 percent
2009 ? 3.9 percent
2008 ? 2.5 percent
2007 ? 3.3 percent
2006 ? 3.9 percent
2005 ? 3.5 percent
2004 ? 4.4 percent

Matson said it also will raise its terminal handling charges by $175 per west-bound container and $85 per east-bound container on Jan. 2. Matson said it will file the rate increase with the U.S. Surface Transportation Board.

“This rate increase will help offset rises in operating costs and support ongoing investments in our Hawaii service,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president of Matson's ocean services. Terminal handling costs make up more than 40 percent of the company’s overall operating costs, Hoppes said.

According to Matson, the average cost to ship a 20-pound bag of rice will go up by 13 cents when the increased shipping and terminal handling charges kick in. The cost of an 8-foot two-by-four will rise about 8 cents, while a 12-ounce can of soda or beer will cost about a half cent more to ship.

The basic rate and the terminal handling charge are separate from a fuel surcharge paid by Matson customers.

Revenue from Matson was a primary driver in a surge in third-quarter profit at the company’s parent company, Alexander & Baldwin Inc. However, the improvement was mostly in Matson’s China business, which was expanded in September. Both container and automobile volumes on Matson’s Hawaii service were down in the third quarter.

A&B’s shares fell 54 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $35.17 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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