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Matson profit in trough with container shipping volume

LAST UPDATED: 11:38 a.m. HST, May 6, 2014

Declines in ocean cargo shipping and a lag in recouping higher fuel costs through customer surcharges gouged first-quarter profit for Matson Inc.

The Honolulu-based company reported Tuesday that its net income for the first three months of the year dropped 63 percent to $3.4 million from $9.1 million in the same period last year.

Matson said the decline was largely due to the timing of fuel surcharge collections. Other impacts included a 2.9 percent decline in Hawaii container shipping volume, a 3.5 percent decline in China container shipping volume and $1 million in legal expenses dealing with a September molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor.

The company said it believes container shipping volume is near the end of a trough, and that volume and operating income will pick up for the balance of the year.

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