Matson stays within itself

By Patrick Burnson · August 16, 2013

The ocean cargo business had been often referred to as a “dysfunctional family,” with most of the members demonstrating some kind of self-destruction associated with mismanaged capacity. But one modest-sized carrier is proving the exception to bad behavior, giving both shippers and shareholders reason to rejoice.

Matson, Inc. had another solid quarter, driven by continuing strength in its Hawaii trade, modest volume gains in its other trade lanes and a better result in Logistics. And while most “mega” carriers lost money this year, this specialized one found a way to make some.

For the first six months of 2013, Matson reported net income of $29.2 million, or $0.68 per diluted share compared with $11.2 million or $0.26 per diluted share in 2012. Consolidated revenue for the first six months of 2013 was $811.3 million, compared with $760.3 million in 2012.

Granted, the company’s terminal operations joint venture – SSAT – continues to be negatively impacted by significantly reduced lift volume due to shipper losses from prior years. But Matson expects that SSAT will operate at a breakeven level for the year.

And there’s more good news.

In addition to the trade lane and terminal operations outlook, the company expects to continue to benefit from working with its existing fleet of less than ten vessels.

While other carriers introduce tonnage in struggling trade lanes, Matson remains focused on transportation costs and staying within itself, thereby keeping a lighter dry-dock schedule as compared to 2012.

Well done.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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