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When Matson acquired Horizon Lines in 2015, it added more than new Alaska routes—the company gained a seasoned workforce of Alaska shipping professionals with almost 50 years of institutional knowledge of local community needs. Over the years, Horizon Lines had built a highly trained workforce that became the foundation of Matson’s new Alaska operations.

“The commitment and skill of our local team is just tremendous,” says Bal Dreyfus, vice president of Alaska operations. “It takes experienced, dedicated people to deliver the kind of timeliness and care that our clients—and by that I mean families, neighbors, and businesses—depend on day in, day out, 365 days a year.”

In Alaska, where weather frequently adds to the degree of difficulty in delivering needed goods on time, Matson employees take pride in knowing how to get the job done consistently. Dreyfus gives generous praise to Matson’s longshoremen and other dock workers who are out in 19 hours of dark from December through January, in bitter wind, ice and snow, to ensure containers are loaded and unloaded on time. “Even in the dead of winter, our employees are determined to make sure that milk is on our supermarket shelves.”

Matson at a glance

  • 2X weekly service between Tacoma, Anchorage and Kodiak
  • Weekly service between Tacoma and Dutch Harbor
  • Truck, rail and barge service connections throughout Central Alaska, Kodiak and the Aleutian Chain, as well as the Lower 48
  • Dry and refrigerated containers, open top containers, car carriers, flat racks, and insulated containers
  • Efficient terminal operations dedicated to Alaska
  • Total in-transit cargo visibility online
  • Expertise in supporting Alaska’s seafood industry

“As a leading carrier of goods into and out of the state, we feel a sense of obligation to serving the needs of Alaska. From putting food on the table to supporting the local economy with seafood exports to helping protect our environment by shipping recyclable materials out of state, we’re in it together.”

Bal Dreyfus, Vice President, Alaska

– Bal Dreyfus
Vice President, Alaska

Bal Dreyfus, Vice President, Alaska

– Bal Dreyfus
Vice President, Alaska

Caring for Our Alaska Home

Dedication to community is a deep cultural value at Matson. In addition to the sense of duty that comes with operating a critical lifeline for remote communities, Matson has always sought to improve the communities it serves.

As Alaskans deeply rooted in their communities, Matson’s employees take an active role in deciding where the company’s philanthropy resources are directed as well as making their own contributions of personal time and money to dozens of local charities every year. In Anchorage, Matson Account Executive John Schweiker has been caring for clients since 1984 and has been active in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska for decades. Gatehouse and Equipment Control Manager and avid cyclist Lee Fisher started in 2003. He knows every Alaska port—and bike trail—and logged more than 3,500 miles for charity last year.

In addition to the individual efforts of unofficial Matson ambassadors like John and Lee, Matson’s community giving program supports a wide range of nonprofit organizations in the areas of maritime environment and ocean resource conservation, education, human services, culture and arts, and civic and community programs. Matson Giving annually donates more $1 million in cash and services to more than 60 organizations throughout Alaska.

Taking Care of Local Businesses

Every week, three Matson vessels make two calls to Anchorage and Kodiak, and one call to Dutch Harbor. In fact, Matson is the only ocean transportation company of its size to make regular calls at Kodiak and Dutch Harbor. It also provides regular barge service from Dutch Harbor to Akutan, and trucking of goods from Anchorage to Kenai, Homer, Seward, Valdez, Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay.

As an ocean-faring company, Matson has a soft spot for the Alaska seafood industry. Says Dreyfus, “We’re very customer focused. When you’re out there braving the elements to earn a living and feed your family, we know it’s essential for your products to be delivered on time and handled with the utmost care.”

Matson’s sense of responsibility extends to all of its Alaska clients. It works closely with local businesses, freight forwarders and individual customers to transport goods as fast as possible and in good condition. When Matson keeps its word with on-time shipments and next day cargo availability, businesses large and small all over the state can meet their commitments, too.

“We’re very customer focused. When you’re out there braving the elements to earn a living and feed your family, we know it’s essential for your products to be delivered on time and handled with the utmost care.”

– Bal Dreyfus
Vice President, Alaska

in Alaska

Since entering the market in 2015, Matson has made significant investments in Alaska, from maintaining a highly skilled workforce in Anchorage, Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, to supplying a new $10 million, 340-foot electric crane as part of a $35 million partnership to update the Port of Kodiak. The crane is the largest in Alaska, and enables the port to accommodate a new generation of wider containerships that may serve the region in the future.

Matson also purchased Span Alaska, the leading less-than-container load freight forwarding company serving Alaska, to ensure superior ground transportation and logistics services across the region.

Matson’s financial strength has provided other upgrades in infrastructure and equipment that have increased safety and efficiency. Most recently, the company invested in a new automated gate at the Port of Alaska. It’s the first of its kind in the Last Frontier. Combined with advanced mobile communications, the gate eliminated the need for truck drivers to manually check in, dramatically reducing idling time at the dock, which in turn has lowered diesel emissions. It’s a big win for customers, the environment and Matson employees. The project served as an example of how Matson is improving the customer experience without sacrificing local positions.

To learn more about Matson’s people, services and community support, visit Matson.com.

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