Industry leading expertise, resources, and reliability

Matson, Inc. plays a crucial role in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and the other regions where it operates. The company’s ships transport essential cargo that people depend on to sustain their lives. As such, Matson is committed to providing good—and easy—solutions to meet the needs of the markets it serves. “Our mission is to move freight better than anyone,” says Bal Dreyfus, Matson’s senior vice president, Alaska.

Founded in San Francisco in 1882, Matson (NYSE: MATX) is a leading provider of ocean transportation and logistics services in and around the Pacific. With 4,200 employees managing logistics across multiple time zones, the company provides a critical lifeline to the non-contiguous US economies of Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam, as well as to other island economies in Micronesia. Matson also operates premium, expedited services from China to the US West Coast; provides service to Okinawa, Japan and various islands in the South Pacific; and operates an international export service from Dutch Harbor to Asia.

Matson, Inc. moves freight primarily through two divisions: ocean transportation and logistics. The company conducts ocean transportation services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Matson Navigation Company, Inc. (Matson), and logistics services through Matson Logistics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary established in 1987. Matson Logistics stretches the geographic reach of Matson’s transportation network throughout North America with integrated, asset-light logistics services, including rail intermodal, highway brokerage, warehousing, freight consolidation, Asia supply chain services, and forwarding to Alaska.

teen working together to most some supplies
Teens with the Anchorage Park Foundation’s Youth Employment in Parks (YEP) program conduct a habitat restoration project along Chester Creek with support from Matson’s Caring for Alaska grant program.
Alaska Market

In Alaska, Matson’s employees and equipment have served the state since 1964. Today, Matson employs 700 Alaskans, including members of labor unions such as the Teamsters, the Anchorage Independent Longshore Union, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. As part of its ocean transportation service, Matson offers service between the port of Tacoma, Washington and the ports in Anchorage, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor. “We operate with three D7 class containerships,” Dreyfus says. “They provide twice-weekly service from Tacoma to Anchorage, twice-weekly service to Kodiak, and weekly service to Dutch Harbor.”

Matson also provides a barge service between Dutch Harbor and Akutan and over-the-road and rail connections to other locations, including the Kenai Peninsula, Fairbanks, and the North Slope.

Over the years, Matson has taken significant steps to expand its services in Alaska. In 2016, Matson acquired the state’s largest freight forwarder, Span Alaska Transportation, to enhance its Alaska service offerings. In 2020, Matson launched a convenient Alaska-Asia Express (AAX) service that provides carriage of dry and frozen seafood directly from Dutch Harbor to Ningbo and Shanghai, China. “We also made significant capital investments in new equipment to support the Alaska market with more insulated and refrigerated containers… and we purchased specialized chassis to support the needs of North Slope businesses,” Dreyfus says.

Prioritizing Customers and Communities

Matson’s extensive history of serving as a lifeline to communities has fostered a culture of focusing on the customers and communities it serves. It builds long-term relationships by listening to customers and solving their problems. Within that, Matson takes its responsibility to serve sustenance markets seriously. “When the COVID-19 pandemic started, our concern was the safety of our people and being able to continue meeting the needs of the communities we serve,” Dreyfus says. “I’m proud to say that we, along with the industry, have done a great job of keeping people safe and keeping the goods flowing to Alaska.”

Another key component of Matson’s corporate culture is giving back to communities where its employees work and live. For example, when the pandemic impacted many people’s jobs—through no fault of their own—Matson Giving, the company’s community support program, reallocated funding to essential social safety nets such as food banks, meal programs, and health and human services. In January, when an undersea volcanic eruption and resulting tsunami devastated parts of Tonga, Matson reached out to support community groups engaged in relief efforts in the South Pacific, Alaska, and Hawaii, donating more than $300,000 in relief goods and transportation services. “Our goal is to help improve quality of life in our communities” Dreyfus says. “It may sound like a cliché, but it’s about doing the right thing.”

In Anchorage, Matson has collaborated with various stakeholders to facilitate the Port of Alaska Modernization Program (PAMP). The project will replace aging critical infrastructure with four new terminals for shipping companies serving Alaska through the state’s busiest import and intermodal freight distribution hub: Anchorage. “They may not realize it, but over 90 percent of Alaskans rely on the Port of Alaska for their everyday necessities of life,” Dreyfus says, underscoring the importance of the PAMP to the entire state. “There are few ports in the world as critical to its market as the Port of Alaska.”

an aerial view of a boat driving into port
Matson’s M/V Kodiak arrives at the Port of Alaska.
Focus on the Environment and Sustainability

Environmental stewardship is also integral to Matson’s distinct company culture. As such, Matson is engaging in broad efforts to minimize its environmental impact. Its strategy encompasses five key areas:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: Its goals are to achieve a 40 percent reduction by 2030 (using a 2016 baseline) and net zero Scope 1 of greenhouse emissions from its fleet by 2050.
  • Improving air quality: Since 2019, Matson has achieved an 80 percent reduction in sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions. In 2021, Matson completed a fleet upgrade, replacing older ships with four new vessels built to run more efficiently on cleaner-burning fuels.
  • Recycling retired ships responsibly: When replacing obsolete vessels, Matson recycles ships in facilities that meet stringent US regulatory standards or similar standards in international conventions.
  • Recording zero significant spills: Matson continues to meet its goal of experiencing zero significant spills, defined as more than one barrel of fuel or other hazardous substance.
  • Protecting ocean health and biodiversity: Matson introduced the industry’s first zero-solid-waste policy, using “Greentainers” on every vessel to contain all solid waste for proper disposal in landside facilities. The company also uses vessel ballast water management systems to filter and treat ballast water before releasing it back into the ocean.

Alluding to Matson’s dedication to environmental stewardship, Dreyfus says: “We operate in some of the world’s most pristine environments, and we feel an obligation to make sure we protect those environments as best we can.

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Bal Dreyfus
Senior Vice President, Alaska
1717 Tidewater Road
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 802-0579
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