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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pasha Hawaii to double fuel surcharge May 29

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines' vehicle carrier Jean Anne unloads a new car at Pier 33, Honolulu Harbor. Pasha's decision to hike its fuel surcharge may mean higher auto shipping prices by its major competitors, Matson Navigation Co. and Horizon Lines.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines will double its fuel surcharge later this month the company's first increase since launching its roll-on/roll-off service in March last year.

Pasha, which ships vehicles and other heavy cargo between California and Hawai'i, said yesterday it will increase its fuel surcharge from 9.2 percent to 18.5 percent beginning May 29. That raises Pasha's rate to ship privately-owned vehicles to and from Hawai'i to $975 from $899.

The company said the fuel surcharge increase is necessary because of the "dramatic rise in bunker fuel prices over the past year and the effect it has had on (Pasha's) operating costs."

Pasha's decision to raise its fuel surcharge may also mean higher auto shipping prices by its major competitors. Matson Navigation Co. and Horizon Lines reduced their prices last year to match Pasha's $899 standard vehicle transport service rate.

Matson and Horizon have raised their fuel surcharges five times over the past 13 months because of higher oil prices, most recently increasing them to 18.5 percent in April. But both companies also have been reducing their base rates for shipping vehicles to and from the Mainland to keep prices at $899, Matson and Horizon officials said.

When asked whether Pasha's decision would mean an increase in Matson's auto shipping rates, Matson spokesman Jeff Hull said: "This is news to us, but it's very likely ... that we would match their rate."

Matson's Hawai'i container business increased 1 percent but decreased 11 percent for autos in the first quarter, according to the latest filing by Matson's parent company, Alexander & Baldwin Inc.

Horizon spokesman Ku'uhaku Park said the company was not aware of Pasha's plans to increase its fuel surcharge and that "like any other competitive rate change, we need time to research the market's reaction."

Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com.