Shipping Volumes Suggest Improving Lanai Economy

February 14, 2013, 2:22 PM HST · Updated February 14, 4:00 PM
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Young Brothers, Kahului Office. Courtesy photo.

Young Brothers, Kahului Office. Courtesy photo.

By Sonia Isotov

While Maui cargo volumes were up slightly, Lanai volumes were up nearly 50% compared to 2011, according to the Young Brothers Quarterly Shipping Report.

Volume at the Port of Lanai increased 49.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to 2011, and increased 28.5% for the year overall. The Port of Lanai continued to show strong quarterly comparisons in cargo volume, reflecting fuel cargo that Young Brothers began transporting in early 2012.

In addition, Lanai continued steady in-bound shipments of materials for building improvements and renovations.

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison purchased 98% of the island in 2012, and has reportedly been upgrading and maintaining various facilities.

Young Brothers, Ltd. said its Maui intrastate cargo volume was up 3.3% for 2012, but ended the year up 4.8% in the fourth quarter.

Young Brothers’ Quarterly Report is considered a key barometer of neighbor island economic activity. In 2012, overall cargo activity zigzagged its way through the year in its year-ago comparisons, showing a 2.6% jump in the first quarter, followed by a 2.7% drop in the second quarter, and 1.1% drop in the third quarter, before ending the year with a 2% increase.

Young Brother's Lanai Office. Courtesy photo.

Young Brother’s Lanai Office. Courtesy photo.

With respect to the fourth quarter of 2012, three ports finished on a positive note with an increase in cargo volumes (compared to the same quarter in 2012). Kahului rose 4.8%. Volumes at the ports on Molokai and Lanai, the two smallest ports within the Young Brothers system, increased 0.9% and 49.9%, respectively. Three ports finished the quarter with slight negative comparisons: Hilo, down 0.4%; Kawaihae, down 0.9%; and Nawiliwili, off 2.3%.

“The year was a bit of a seesaw, but it’s always good to carry positive momentum into the new year,” said Glenn Hong, president of Young Brothers, in a written statement . “We have some optimism, but clearly cargo volumes have a ways to go to demonstrate a continued growth trend.”

During the fourth quarter, agricultural cargo volume statewide continued its positive trend, climbing by 13.7% over the year-ago quarter.  Moreover, for the year, agricultural volume rose 11.6% over 2011’s annual volume.

Agricultural volume includes only cargo that qualifies for the company’s island product discount of 30 to 35%, which applies to locally grown agricultural products.

Young Brothers’ quarterly intrastate shipping volumes reflect only cargo shipments that originate and terminate within Hawaii. The Young Brothers Quarterly Shipping Report was initiated in 2012. The company will release its first quarter 2013 results in May 2013.

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