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Charlotte Area News

Horizon Lines to Lay Off 10 Percent

A Charlotte-based ocean shipping company plans to lay off about 10 percent of its non-union work force in the next 90 days. Horizon Lines is a major supply link between the continental U.S. and Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. CEO Chuck Raymond says the tight economy is forcing Horizon to restructure. "In these kinds of economic times, we find the staples continue to move," says Raymond. "The food, the low-end clothing, building materials, etc. But the high-end items tend to fall off a little bit. So it's not drastic, but there is a reduction in the amount of freight that moves and we have to right-size the organization accordingly." Initially, Raymond says non-union workers will have the chance to take an early retirement, before Horizon moves to mandatory cuts. He says only a handful of jobs will be cut at the Charlotte headquarters. But it's possible the restructuring will lead to more jobs in Charlotte as the company streamlines administrative duties at other outposts. The job cuts will save Horizon Lines an estimated $10 million.