Matson raises service rates by $225 per westbound container

Shipping costs will rise by an average of 5.6%

 UPDATED 2:20 PM HST Nov 28, 2012
Matson ship carrying crates in Honolulu Harbor
HONOLULU -

Matson announced Wednesday it will raise its rates for the company’s Hawaii service by $175 per westbound container and $85 per eastbound container, effective Jan. 1, 2013.

The increase will be filed with the Surface Transportation Board. Matson will also raise its terminal handling charge by $50 per westbound container and $25 per eastbound container, also effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Matson estimates that the combined increase of both the rate adjustment and terminal handling charge will result in shipping costs rising by an average of 5.6 percent.

Historically, Matson announced average percentage increases based solely on the rate increase, excluding terminal handling charges.  As of last year, it is now combing both numbers for the average percent increase in the interest of greater transparency.

"This rate increase will help offset rises in operating costs and support ongoing investments in our Hawaii service," said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services.  "This rate adjustment is consistent with our longstanding philosophy of implementing modest, incremental increases as necessary to maintain the highest levels of service."

In the past decade, Matson says it has invested nearly $1 billion in four new containerships, fleet enhancements, new container equipment, information technology and upgrades to its terminal facilities.

Matson’s terminal handling charge was first implemented in 2003 and is designed to recover a portion of the costs associated with the movement of cargo through terminals.  This charge is standard in the industry and appears as a separate line item at the bottom of the company’s freight bills.

"Terminal handling costs comprise approximately 40 percent of Matson’s operating costs," said Hoppes.  "Matson continues to absorb a substantial amount of the expenses associated with terminal operations, the majority of which are driven by factors that are outside of our control."

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