Matson Integrated Logistics Buys Texas Transportation Firm

The growing logistics provider cites geographic expansion as its chief reason for acquiring Houston-based Aquitaine.

Matson Integrated Logistics, a division of ocean carrier Matson Navigation Co. Inc., has acquired Aquitaine Assets Ltd., a $20 million transportation and technology company in Texas, for an undisclosed sum.

MILs main reason for acquiring Houston-based Aquitaine is to expand its own rail, truck and air freight services into Texas, said Jeff Hull, a company spokesperson. "We had some presence there before, but it was small," Hull said.

"Were looking for any opportunities to expand," he added. In an earlier acquisition, performed in December 2003, MIL bought all the assets of Akron, Ohio,-based TransAmerica Transportation Services Inc.

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Matson Navigation, MILs 123-year-old parent firm, is a major ocean carrier of container freight and automobiles between the West Coast of the United States, Hawaii and Guam. Matson Navigation is itself a subsidiary of Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Inc., a diversified corporation that also has interests in sugar products and Hawaiian real estate development.

Beyond intermodal rail transportation, Aquitaine also provides a Web-based pricing and routing system and a highway brokerage service.

For its own part, Matson Navigation recently launched a new Web site, redesigned to differentiate more clearly between its ocean services and Concord, Calif.-based MIL.

During the redesign, Matson also added several new features to its secure online transaction services for registered users, including access to container tracking data within 30 minutes of the actual freight movement time.

But despite the acquisition by MIL, Aquitaines online pricing and routing system will stay in use, Hull told

MIL plans to retain all four founding partners of Aquitaine, along with the companys nine-member management team.

In another recent move, Matson Terminals Inc.—a sister company to MIL—purchased forklifts, passenger vans and certain other assets from HT&T Stevedoring, a division of Brewer Environmental Industries. The acquired assets had been used in stevedoring, or the process of loading and unloading ships.

With the assets buyout, MTI established a new division, Big Island Stevedores, which will now occupy HT&T Stevedorings former offices in Honolulu.

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