Bells Will Be Ringing

Alexander & Baldwin rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this morning.  From what I could gather, this was to recognize the movement of their stock from the Nasdaq to the NYSE.  Now when you go to look for their stock, you’ll be looking for them under the ticker symbol, AXB.  I didn’t even know they were traded on the Nasdaq.  Consequently I didn’t know about, or pay attention to, the news that they were moving over. 

That bell on the news this morning triggered this post.  This is now a perfect time for me to talk about Matson!  I’ve been wondering for several days just how I would start talking about Matson.  I have mentioned them before, I have realized how important they are to the State of Hawaii and I have apparently added them to my internal list of companies to watch, endorse and respect.  Their owner?  You got it — Alexander & Baldwin!  I had no idea A&B owned Matson, until I did a little research.  Boy did I feel dumb!  I should have known that.

Let me give you a short recap.  First, I was so concerned about the Falls of Clyde being sunk and then I got excited when I heard that the Friends of the Falls of Clyde was stepping forward to keep the ship from going to a briny grave.  The next worry was money.  I wrote a post about sending emails to Matson, appealing, suggesting, okay begging, for their help.  Of course the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation is their charitable arm.  Like I said, I felt pretty stupid.     

Anyway, a very nice gentleman in Matson’s mainland office not only took the time to forward my emails to A&B, but he actually took the time to call me on the phone and let me know they were not ignoring me.  Suffice it to say, I was amazed and pleasantly surprised to find that an officer of such a large corporation was so patient and quite personable!

Matson barge as seen from the front.

The sound of the horn on this Matson ship was so loud it made me jump right out of my skin!  It also made me jump up and grab my camera!  Just to give you some idea of the physical size of this thing, those little figures just off to the left of the middle of the ship’s deck are people.  This thing is huge!

Matson barge and its containers

My groceries are on that boat — maybe even Thanksgiving dinner!  🙂    I did remind the gentleman from Matson to not forget our Christmas trees this year.  He chuckled and said they wouldn’t forget.  So every time you hear bells ringing this holiday season, think of Matson and the Falls of Clyde. 

Soon they will be moving the Falls of Clyde from her current location (next to the Hawaii Maritime Center adjacent to Aloha Tower) and taking her to dry land.  The intent is to repair the ship and eventually restore her back to the water for all to enjoy.  Maybe our Matson giant above will welcome the Falls of Clyde back into the water with a blast of its large horn.  Wouldn’t that be fun?!?  It wouldn’t exactly be bells but it would certainly leave our ears ringing!   

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mel // Oct 24, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Here are times when I think the most about Matson:

    1. When I hear about an impending dock strike or worst if one should occur and ships cannot load and unload in Hawaii, well its off to the nearest big box to stock up on the essentials…. rice and toilet paper! That is on everyone’s minds whenever this happens.

    2. Part of Hawaii’s extremely high cost of living can be attributed to Matson and probably worst, the restrictive Jones Act that keeps competition out of the sea freight business and limits it mainly to U.S. flagged ships. Matson’s only other competitor on the domestic Hawaii to mainland shipping lanes is Horizon Lines.

    Wouldn’t the cost of goods shipped into Hawaii be cheaper if we could have foreign flagged ships bringing in containers from the mainland to Hawaii? Time to banish the Jones Act.

    3. I am aware of Matson when I read articles about their fuel surcharges increasing. Eventually this raises our prices. Higher prices impact everyone in the State of Hawaii.

    4, Long, long ago Matson used to have passenger ship service between the mainland and Hawaii. Their ships Lurline, Matsonia and Monteray were quite famous long ago.

  • 2 Evelyn // Oct 24, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Hey Mel! I anticipated comments like yours. I too was alarmed when I heard about the increase in the fuel surcharge but it wasn’t really a surprise. Fuel costs have impacted everyone and we can only hope Matson and others will adjust these figures back down as the price of those barrels goes down. Sheesh!

    Unfortunately, the price of gas at the pump isn’t coming down as quickly as we all would like it to. Sigh.

    You know, Mel, I never thought about those domestic restrictions outside of the tourist industry, Norwegian Cruise Lines and the Pride of Aloha, etc. Something to think about I suppose but not something that is going to be looked at much right now, I don’t think, with the country in financial crisis.

    There are other domestic lines they just don’t seem to want to include us in their routes. I wonder why that is. But, you’re right, healthy competition is always a good thing for consumers.

    It’s funny you should mention the Lurline. My mother remembers it, remembers traveling on it and she got really excited and thought very highly of the Maritime Center’s Lurline display.

    Thank you, Mel, for sharing your thoughts and honest opinions! I appreciate your candor.

  • 3 Cloudia // Oct 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Aloha Evelyn!
    How delightful to stumble accross a fellow HONO blogger who loves ships and history and our unique community!
    Please visit my blog sometime…
    Malama Pono, Cloudia

  • 4 Evelyn // Oct 25, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Thank you, Cloudia, for visiting and leaving your comments! The fascination is greater when you can get so close to it all! The cargo ships will dwarf you for sure but the vessels like the Falls of Clyde melt your heart, for some reason. I think it’s their antiquity and endurance that make them something to cling to.

  • 5 hawaii // Oct 7, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Hah! I saw so many of these huge ships when we traveled to Hawaii and I never thought about how important they must be to the culture. Evelyn I just wanted to say thank you for such a great blog. Aloha!

  • 6 Evelyn // Oct 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Hello Hawaii. We certainly would be in trouble without them! Like I said, they have my groceries! 🙂

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