Matson Overhauling Its Alaska Operations

U. S. carrier Matson, Inc. is pushing ahead with its plans to fund improvements in its new Alaska operations following its acquisition of Horizon Lines’ Alaska services.

Matson has earmarked more than USD 30 million to invest in new equipment planned by Horizon prior to its acquisition.

Equipment upgrades to be made over the next three months include: 2,000 new standard 40-foot dry containers for general cargo, a new 65-ton gantry crane, which will be the largest in Alaska, for Kodiak Terminal, 430 new insulated containers for winter operations and 2 new Kenworth tractors for Anchorage Terminal container positioning.

In addition, Matson has scheduled work to install new exhaust scrubber systems on the three former Horizon D7 Class vessels it now operates in Alaska, with each vessel going into dry dock for three months, one after another, starting in September. The new equipment is intended to help the vessels comply with the latest federal emissions regulations and eliminate all sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions.

Matson said it would deploy a reserve container ship during the installation period to prevent any disruption to its twice weekly service from Tacoma to Anchorage and Kodiak and weekly service to Dutch Harbor.

The modifications to all three ships are expected to be complete by December 2016. While the company’s new tractors and the first of its new dry containers are already in use, its new gantry crane is due to arrive in Kodiak in early August and its new insulated containers will be delivered in Anchorage in late October, the company said.

“Matson’s mission is to move cargo better than anyone. These infrastructure investments will bring Alaska assets in line with our standards and help us deliver superior service to our customers,” said Matt Cox, president and CEO.

Matson announced its acquisition of Horizon Lines, which included Horizon’s Alaska operations and the assumption of all non-Hawaii business, for USD 469 million on May 29, 2015.

Separately and immediately preceding the acquisition, Horizon completed the sale of its Hawaii trade lane assets and liabilities to The Pasha Group for $141.5 million