Matson says it is raising its fuel surcharge by 5 percentage points for its Hawaii, Guam/Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia services.
Effective March 23, the surcharge for Hawaii service will rise from 34.5 percent to 39.5 percent. The fuel surcharge for Guam/CNMI and Micronesia will climb from 36.6 percent to 41.5 percent.
Matson says this is the first increase since October 2012 and follows three consecutive decreases for the company's Hawaii service, which totaled 9 percentage points.
"Since our last decrease in July 2013, Matson’s fuel costs have increased," said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services. "We are now seeing the impact of Emission Control Area regulations that were implemented in 2012, which require carriers to burn the more costly low-sulfur distillate fuel 200 miles off U.S. coastlines. For Matson, this has resulted in increased fuel costs for about 20 percent of each voyage, both westbound and eastbound."
Maston gave some examples on how the fuel surcharge increase will affect consumers. It will cost 2 cents more to ship a six-pack of soda; a penny more to ship a head of lettuce; and 6 cents more per 20-pound bag of rice.
As with all increases, Matson says customers will have 30 days advance notice prior to implementation. The company says it will continue to monitor fuel prices and adjust the surcharge accordingly.