By Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

Matson Navigation Co. said Wednesday that it would decrease its fuel surcharge by two percentage points to 40.5 percent for its Hawaii service, effective Oct. 9.

It is the second time in two weeks, and the third time in six weeks, that Matson, citing lower bunker fuel prices, has lowered the fuel surcharge for shipping on its Hawaii, Guam and Marianas and Micronesia routes.

The rate for the Pacific routes will also decrease two percentage points, to 42 percent, also effective Oct. 9, Matson said.

The Oakland, Calif.-based shipper, a subsidiary of Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Inc. (NYSE: ALEX), lowered the fuel surcharge by three percentage points on Sept. 25, and had lowered it by two percentage points on Aug. 28. As of Sunday, the fuel surcharge will have decreased by a total of seven percentage points in six weeks.

The decreases represent a reduction in shipping costs of $60 to $105 per container, Dave Hoppes, senior vice president of ocean services, said in a statement.

⿿The cost of bunker fuel, which is the type of fuel consumed by most ocean carriers, rose faster over the past year than crude oil and has been slower in experiencing declines in prices; fortunately, bunker fuel prices have moderated recently, allowing us to make this third decrease,⿝ Hoppes said.

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