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Matson to raise fuel surcharge to 43.5%, highest on record

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Matson Navigation Co. said it will raise its fuel surcharge on shipments from the mainland to 43.5 percent one May 1, the highest level since it started imposing the charge more than 10 years ago.

The 8.5-percentage-point hike is the third in three months for Matson, which said it is trying to keep pace with rapidly rising oil prices.

“When we announced our last increase in late February, fuel prices had just begun to spike because of the unprecedented unrest in the Middle East,” Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, said in a news release.

“Since then, the environment has failed to stabilize, causing the global fuel market to remain at near historic highs. Matson recognizes that fuel costs impact all businesses, as well as consumers.  Unfortunately, transportation companies are especially hard hit, with fuel consumption an unavoidable and significant component of operating costs,” Hoppes said.

Crude oil futures rose $2.45 to $106.72 a barrel today on the New York Mercantile ?Exchange, the highest settlement since September 2008.

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