Contact: Dennis Watson
12/04/2000 (Monday)
(202) 565-1596
No. 00-47
FIRS 1 (800) 877-8339


Surface Transportation Board (Board) Chairman Linda J. Morgan announced today that the Board has issued a decision permitting the Matson Navigation Company's (Matson) electronic mailing (e-mailing) to the Board of tariff filings showing water and joint motor-water carrier rates in the noncontiguous domestic trade. The Board's decision granted Matson's special tariff authority request to e-mail tariff filings instead of delivering printed tariffs to the Board. Such electronically transmitted tariffs will be immediately printed and made available for public inspection.

Under the law, water carriers operating in the noncontiguous domestic trade (domestic movements to or from Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. territories or possessions, such as Puerto Rico and Guam), unlike other carriers under Board jurisdiction, still must file public tariffs showing their rates and joint rates that they establish with motor carriers. Since passage of the ICC Termination Act of 1995, the Board has permitted water carriers to file their tariffs either electronically or through the submission of printed tariff documents. The decision issued today will permit Matson to improve the timeliness of tariff delivery and eliminate the cost associated with the physical delivery of printed tariffs. The Board has verified that the e-mail tariff process proposed by Matson is compatible with the Board's existing computer capabilities and that Matson will continue to meet all substantive statutory and regulatory requirements for filed tariffs. Under these circumstances, the Board concluded that it should permit Matson the benefits of added flexibility, greater reliability, and lower costs that Matson indicated it could achieve through e-mailed filings.

Because the authority granted by the Board applies only to Matson, the Board will consider similar requests from other water carriers. The Board will not limit data-file formats to those proposed by Matson, although any Board-authorized e-mail filings must be fully compatible with the Board's data-processing capabilities.

Today's decision was issued in Filing of Printed Noncontiguous Domestic Trade Tariffs by E-mail, STB Special Tariff Authority No. 8. A printed copy of today's decision is available for a fee by contacting D~-To-D~ Office Solutions, Room 405, 1925 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 466-5530. Today's decision also is available for viewing and downloading via the Board's Website at