With fuel related costs reaching historical highs, Matson Navigation Company announced today that it is raising its fuel surcharge for its Hawaii service by 4.5 percentage points, from 33.75 to 38.25 percent, and its Guam/CNMI and Micronesia services by 6 percentage points, from 33.75 to 39.75 percent, both effective July 13, 2008. This is the first adjustment Matson has made to its fuel surcharge since April 6, 2008. While Matson has traditionally applied the same percentage fuel surcharge to all of its Pacific service, it is implementing a new program that recognizes that there are greater fuel requirements in serving the more geographically remote regions of Guam and .
In order to offset the impact of record breaking fuel prices, Matson has diligently explored ways to maximize fuel efficiency for its Pacific services. For example, when possible, Matson has slowed the speed of its containerships without adversely impacting its schedule reliability; reduced speed during ocean transit is a very effective means of lowering fuel consumption. In addition, Matson has temporarily removed one vessel from its service to best meet current market conditions. While this action requires triangulating one ship every other week between , and , resulting in minor service changes for its customers, the related fuel cost savings during the past several months has allowed the company to delay implementing increases to its fuel surcharge despite the volatility of the world oil market. Matson also operates its four newest diesel powered containerships in its Long Beach/Hawaii/Guam service, utilizing the most fuel efficient vessels in its fleet.Matson will continue to monitor its fuel costs and related consumption. If there is no moderation in the escalation of energy prices, the company may be required to make future adjustments to the current fuel surcharge.