Matson Says its China Service is Profitable

Monday, October 30, 2006
Matson Navigation Co. Inc., the Oakland, Calif.-based maritime shipping subsidiary of Honolulu-based A&B posted 7 percent more third-quarter revenue but 7 percent lower operating profit. That still meant a profit above $34 million, however. The China service, launched early this year, carried more than 10,000 containers, triple Guam traffic and almost a quarter of Hawaii traffic. "The contributions from Matson's China service increased from the prior quarter, and the service is profitable," said Allen Doane, CEO of the parent company. Everything is measured against projections, however, and Doane said even this performance was lower than "planned levels" as favorable container volumes were more than offset by lower rates and higher fuel and intermodal rail costs.

"Matson has firmly established its reputation in China for superior service, which should translate into improved rates over time," he said. Matson sails mostly full from the West Coast to Hawaii, and mostly empty on its return trips. The China service is a triangle trade that continues from Hawaii to Guam, and then the comparatively short distance farther west to Shanghai, so ships can return full of goods for the West Coast, on a route that is shorter and faster than the traditional Hong Kong-Long Beach route. Source: Pacific Business News

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