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Matson to the South Pacific

Frederica Elbourne
Wednesday, January 09, 2013

A LEADING American—owned carrier has expanded its reach into the South Pacific after it bought assets off a New Zealand—based shipping company.

Matson Incorporation—a leading US carrier in the Pacific which trades as MATX on the New York Stock Exchange—bought the primary assets formerly owned by Reef Shipping, a South Pacific shipping company based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Matson will continue former Reef business linked directly to the core shipping operation including a LCL freight depot in Onehunga which primarily services commercial and personal effects customers in Auckland and a bulk fuels and gas supply operations for the wider South Pacific.

Matson will continue to provide service to Reef's historical core trade lanes from Auckland, New Zealand and Fiji to the island nations of Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, Vanuatu, Tarawa and Majuro— all of which will be new markets for Matson.

Reef Shipping which also services Fiji, has been in business since 1968.

A statement from Matson recently said the acquired assets included four vessels and approximately 1500 pieces of container equipment.

"With this acquisition, Matson continues to expand its geographic reach into the South Pacific, and build on its well-earned expertise as a Pacific island carrier," Matson president and chief executive officer Matt Cox said in an earlier statement.

"While the purchase itself is relatively small, it complements our growing network of Pacific island services. Historically, Matson vessels, including both freighters and luxury passenger ships, served the South Pacific for five decades, beginning in the 1920s. We are proud to return today to provide the same level of superior customer service and on-time delivery that is the hallmark of our other trade lanes."

In addition to the Hawaiian Islands, which Matson has serviced since the company was founded in 1882, the company's Pacific island services today include Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Matson provides a vital lifeline to the island economies of Hawaii, Guam and Micronesia and premium, expedited service from China to Southern California.

The company's fleet of 17 vessels includes container ships, combination container and roll-on/roll-off ships and custom-designed barges.

The new Matson business is registered as Matson South Pacific, Ltd., a New Zealand registered company wholly—owned by Matson Inc.

Matson enters the South Pacific trade routes as an independent shipping company with over 130 years of experience serving Pacific islands.

"This new service for Matson will expand our geographic reach into the South Pacific, and build on our expertise as a Pacific island carrier," said Mr Cox.

Vic Angoco, Matson senior vice president, Pacific, will oversee the new venture, as well as the company's operations in Hawaii, Guam and Micronesia.

Former All Black rugby player Michael Jones has been appointed Matson's strategic development manager for the new South Pacific service.

"As Pacific Islanders and Kiwis alike, we are acutely aware of the critical importance of secure and competitive shipping services between New Zealand and the South Pacific island communities," Jones commented.

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