GUAM (Matson) — In celebration of its 25th anniversary of providing service to Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia, Matson today announced a new scholarship fund to help students in the region pursue higher education. The more than $60,000 fund will be distributed over the next five years through colleges and universities in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.
“Matson believes in supporting education and giving back to the communities that have supported us for the past 25 years. We are excited to be able to provide these new opportunities for students throughout Micronesia,” said Bernie Valencia, vice president and general manager for Guam and Micronesia.
Valencia noted that the company will be developing additional projects throughout the year in celebration of its 25th anniversary. “In the spirit of education, we’d like to partner with industry stakeholders to introduce high school students throughout Micronesia to potential careers in the maritime industry,” she added.
A shipping pioneer in the Pacific
Matson has been serving the Pacific since 1882 and launched operations in Guam and Micronesia in 1996, initially as a joint service with another carrier. In 2006, Matson assumed full control of the service concurrent with the launch of its China-Long Beach Express premium service via Guam.
Matson Inc. became an independent, publicly traded company in 2012, also establishing the Matson Foundation, now called Matson Giving, to administer all of the company’s community support activities in communities where Matson serves. Soon after, the foundation established the Adahi I Tano’ program in 2014, a “green’ program in Guam that benefits nonprofit organizations that perform cleanups around the island.
Throughout its history in the region, Matson pioneered refrigerated cargo to the Pacific Islands. That spirit of continual improvement has resulted in one of the best refrigerated cargo systems in the shipping industry and led to its current high-tech service that gives customers the ability to specify precise temperature and atmospheric controls that keep cargo in optimum conditions and monitor their shipment in real-time throughout the journey.
In 2016, Matson celebrated 20 years of service to Guam and Micronesia by paying tribute to Micronesia’s Grand Master Navigator Pius “Mau” Piailug by naming a vessel in Guam and Micronesia M/V Papa Mau. Originally from Yap, Piailug is honored posthumously for his singular influence in the perpetuation of traditional wayfinding and celestial navigation across the Pacific. Additionally, the company commemorated 20 years in Micronesia through its major sponsorship of the 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts, helping island nations ship cultural cargo to Guam, including the inaugural voyage of The Che’lu Sakman Chamoru, a traditional Chamorro sailing canoe, in Guam’s waters.
As part of the company’s latest fleet modernization, Matson commissioned four newly-built state-of-the-art vessels to replace seven smaller ships, all four of which are the largest ships of their kind ever built in the U.S. Two of the vessels now serve Guam — the 3,600 TEU Aloha Class containerships Daniel K. Inouye, which entered service in 2018 and Kaimana Hila, which entered service in 2019. The other two vessels, 3,500 TEU Kanaloa Class combination container and roll-on/roll-off or “Con-Ro” ships named Lurline and Matsonia, support West Coast originating cargo destined for Guam and Micronesia via transshipment in Hawaii.
TEU stands for “twenty-foot equivalent unit,” a standard unit of capacity measurement.
25 years of commitment
Throughout the 25 years, Matson’s operations have grown to support the needs of the CNMI, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, using Guam as its hub in the region. Matson operates weekly service to Guam from the U.S. West Coast and Honolulu with connecting service to the CNMI, Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Majuro, Ebeye, Kwajalein, and since 2017, Okinawa. Valencia noted that operations for its Okinawa service are also managed out of Guam.
“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we also recognize that it comes at a time when we are emerging from a very difficult year. We want our communities in Guam, the Northern Marianas, and throughout Micronesia to know that Matson remains committed to supporting the region through its recovery the best way we know how — by providing dependable shipping, exemplary customer service, and supporting our communities in meaningful ways,” she said.
Valencia added, “We are thankful for the privilege of having served our customers in the region for the past 25 years want them to know that they can count on Matson to be here for them for the next 25 years and beyond.”
Founded in 1882, Matson (NYSE: MATX) is a leading provider of ocean transportation and logistics services. Matson provides a vital lifeline to the domestic non-contiguous economies of Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam, and to other island economies in Micronesia. Matson also operates two premium, expedited services from China to Long Beach, California, provides service to Okinawa, Japan and various islands in the South Pacific, and operates an international export service from Dutch Harbor to Asia. The company's fleet of owned and chartered vessels includes containerships, combination container and roll-on/roll-off ships and custom-designed barges. Matson Logistics, established in 1987, extends the geographic reach of Matson's transportation network throughout the continental U.S. Its integrated, asset-light logistics services include rail intermodal, highway brokerage, warehousing, freight consolidation, Asia supply chain services, and forwarding to Alaska. Additional information about the company is available at www.matson.com