Century Club: Matson
Matson’s long association with Hawaii began in 1882, when Captain William Matson sailed his three-masted schooner Emma Claudina from San Francisco to Hilo, Hawaii, carrying 300 tons of food, plantation supplies and general merchandise. That voyage launched a company that has been involved in such diversified interests as oil exploration, hotels and tourism, military service during two world wars and even briefly, the airline business. Matson’s primary interest throughout, however, has been carrying freight between the Pacific Coast and Hawaii.
Matson’s famed “white ships” and Waikiki hotels were instrumental in making Hawaii a world-class tourist destination, beginning in the late 1920s and continuing through the 1960s. In 1958, Matson’s introduction of containerization in the Pacific transformed ocean freight transportation.
Today, Matson is a Hawaii based corporation (NYSE: MATX) recognized as a leader in Pacific shipping. Our mission is “to move freight better than anyone.” In the past decade, the Matson fleet has welcomed four newly-built containerships, all equipped with more fuel-efficient diesel engines, state-of-the-art shipboard technology and a number of “green” environmentally friendly design elements. Last year, Matson announced plans to build two new “Aloha” class containerships to meet Hawaii’s future freight demands, an investment of over $400 million. The first of the two new ships will be named after the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, who was a longstanding supporter of the U.S. maritime industry and its role in supporting Hawaii’s economy.
Equally important, contributing positively to the communities in which we work and live is one of our core values. While the Matson Foundation has a vast geographic outreach, it is focused primarily on supporting community service activities and non-profits in the Islands. In 2013, the Matson Foundation contributed over $1.6 million to 456 organizations, with 62 percent of those dollars going to non-profits in the state.
1411 Sand Island Parkway
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819