Matson Container Rates To Jump $120; West Coast Handling Charge To Rise $175


Guam – Mason Navigation has announced it will raise its rates for their Guam and Micronesia services by $120 for both westbound and eastbound containers. The new rates will take effect on January 30, 2011.

The increase will be filed with the Surface Transportation Board and the Federal Maritime Commission.

The rate increase also applies to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In addition, Matson will raise its West Coast terminal handling charge by $175 for both westbound and eastbound containers, also effective January 30.

“This rate increase will help offset rises in operating costs and support ongoing investments in our Guam and Micronesia services,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services. 

“Given the essential role ocean transportation has in supporting this region’s economy, Matson has continued to make significant investments in upgrading its fleet.  Since 2003, Matson has invested over $600 million in four new containerships, fleet enhancements, new container equipment, information technology and upgrades to its terminal facilities.  In addition, Matson is investing in Guam infrastructure improvements, such as the Polaris Point off-dock facility, to support the military buildup. All of these investments will ensure that Guam’s economy is supported by a modern, reliable ocean transportation infrastructure that will efficiently accommodate the projected growth in coming years, particularly as it relates to the military build up in the region.”

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 over 40 percent of Matson’s operating costs,” said Hoppes.  “Matson continues to absorb most of the costs associated with terminal operations, the majority of which are driven by factors that are outside of our control, but needs to pass on some of the expenses to our customers.”

Matson is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. of Honolulu (NYSE: ALEX).