Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Hawaii service by $175 per westbound container and $85 per eastbound container, effective January 5, 2014. The increase will be filed with the Surface Transportation Board. In addition, Matson will raise its terminal handling charge by $50 per westbound container and $25 per eastbound container, also effective January 5, 2014. 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 5.5%. Historically, Matson announced average percentage increases based solely on the rate increase, excluding terminal handling charges. It now combines 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. "The adjustment is consistent with our longstanding philosophy of implementing modest, incremental increases as necessary to maintain the highest levels of service, and is identical to increases implemented in 2012 and 2013. Matson continues to diligently look for ways to operate the most efficient, cost effective service possible, without undercutting our standards of quality. In the past decade, Matson has invested nearly $1 billion in four new containerships, fleet enhancements, new container equipment, information technology and upgrades to its terminal facilities. Earlier this month, the company announced that it has signed a contract to build two 'Aloha Class' 3,600 TEU containerships for the company's Hawaii service for an aggregate price of $418 million. Matson remains committed to continuing to make long term investments that will provide the state with a modern, reliable ocean transportation infrastructure."
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% 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."