Business Wrap: Prices Up on Gas, Shipping, Crude

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From Ka’u to North Kohala and from Kona and Pahoa, there’s a lot going on business-wise around this Big Island we call home. Here’s a wrap-up of business news not already featured on Big Island Now to bring you the latest business buzz affecting the Big Island.

Matson Raising Shipping Costs to Hawaii

Matson announced today that it is raising its fuel surcharge by 4.5%, from 39% to 43.5% for its Hawaii service, as a result of rising bunker fuel prices and other energy related costs. The higher prices are effective October 7.

On the same date, Matson is also raising its fuel surcharge for its Guam/CNMI and Micronesia services from 35.5% 40%. The increase follows two consecutive decreases in June and July, which totaled 6.5%.

Crude Oil Prices Up in Monthly Energy Trends

In other energy related news, crude oil prices increased in August both from the same month last year and from the previous month. That’s according to monthly energy trend data released today from the state Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.


Crude oil price at the New York Mercantile Exchange averaged $94.16 per barrel in August, which was 9% higher compared to the same month last year. Crude oil price was up $6.23 per barrel or 7 percent from July 2012.

Higher Gas Prices

It’s not your imagination, gas prices continue to rise. According to, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.80. That’s up 13 cents from a year ago.

Gasoline Consumption is Also on the Rise

Hawaii’s statewide consumption for gasoline, as measured by the gasoline tax base, increased 25.8% in May 2012 (which is the latest available data) from the same month a year ago.  A total of 38.2 million gallons of gasoline was consumed in May 2012, of which 25.7% was consumed in Hawaii County.

INNOVATE Hawaii Program Launched to Help Small Business


The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) today announced the creation of INNOVATE Hawaii, a combination of the former Hawaii Small Business Innovation Research and Manufacturing Extension Partnership programs.

“INNOVATE Hawaii will offer state matching grants and assistance to small businesses with a mission to Create, Build, and Grow,” said HTDC executive director Yuka Nagashima.

INNOVATE Hawaii will expand on previous initiatives that begin with initial funding which leads to further development and attracts private investors and commercialization.


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