Maui Business

Young Brothers: Intrastate Cargo Shipments Decrease in First Quarter

May 29, 2015, 9:45 AM HST
* Updated May 29, 9:47 AM
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Young Brothers barge, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Young Brothers barge, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

Cargo shipments between Honolulu and six Neighbor Island ports decreased by 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, according to the Young Brothers Quarterly Shipping Report.

“The first quarter results continued the trend in a narrow range on either side of even,” said Roy Catalani, vice president of Young Brothers.

In the first quarter of 2014, Young Brothers showed a 4% increase in cargo volume. Since then, volume has stayed in a fairly narrow range between approximately .5% and minus 2%.

Five Neighbor Island ports experienced a decline in cargo volume in the first quarter of 2015 when compared to the same period last year:

  • Maui, down 4.1%
  • Hilo, down 2.9%
  • Kauaʻi, down 4.8%
  • Molokaʻi, down 1.6%
  • Lānaʻi, down 17.4%
  • Kawaihae (Hawaiʻi Island), up 10.5%

Cargo volumes for the food and beverage industry–the largest sector that Young Brothers serves—decreased significantly from last year because a large customer changed its shipping method.


The government sector also showed a large decrease in the first quarter as a result of lower shipments by federal agencies.

Shipments of new automobiles for sale climbed, while automobile rental shipments decreased compared to this time last year.

The construction industry on Neighbor Islands is mixed. Lānaʻi, which had seen strong growth in cargo volumes for the past several quarters, slowed in the fourth quarter of 2014 and in the first quarter of this year.


During the first of quarter 2015, local agricultural cargo volume rose 2.9% over the same period last year. This follows a modest reduction in the fourth quarter of 2014, when agricultural shipments decreased.8 percent.

Agricultural cargo exports during the quarter:

  • Kawaihae, up 36.9%
  • Honolulu, up 30.9%.
  • Maui, down 6.2%
  • Hilo, down 14.5%
  • Kauaʻi, down 4.9%
  • Molokaʻi, down .9%
  • Lānaʻi does not currently export agricultural cargo.

“Only two ports experienced an increase in agriculture exports but it was still enough to keep overall volume positive for this category,” Catalani said. “Activity on the Big Island was interesting, albeit with mixed results. Increases in milk production as well as exports of plants drove the large increase in ag cargo being shipped out of Kawaihae.  On the other hand, Hilo’s decline in volume appears to be related to drought conditions.”

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

For more information, go Young Brothers.

Neighbor Island Intrastate Cargo Volume – First Quarter 2015

Container/Platform Equivalents (CPEs) Between Honolulu and Neighbor Island Ports
Q1 2015 Q1 2014 PercentChange
All Ports 30,816 31,401 (1.9%)
Kahului, Maui 11,155 11,628 (4.1%)
       Inbound 8,509 8,478 0.4%
       Outbound 2,646 3,150 (16.0%)
Hilo, Hawaiʻi 7,749 7,980 (2.9%)
       Inbound 5,346 5,432 (1.6%)
       Outbound 2,403 2,548 (5.7%)
Kawaihae, Hawaiʻi 5,541 5,014 10.5%
       Inbound 4,150 3,727 11.4%
       Outbound 1,391 1,287 8.1%
Nāwiliwili, Kauaʻi 6,041 6,345 (4.8%)
       Inbound 4,611 4,977 (7.4%)
       Outbound 1,429 1,367 4.6%
Kaunakakai, Molokaʻi 1,437 1,460 (1.6%)
       Inbound 1,125 1,095 2.7%
       Outbound 312 365 (14.4%)
Kaumalapau, Lānaʻi 1,159 1,403 (17.4%)
       Inbound 882 1,153 (23.5%)
        Outbound 277 250 10.9%

The “All Ports” category reflects every unique cargo item transported by Young Brothers. In contrast, the sum of individual ports is greater than the amount of unique shipments in the “All Ports” total.  This is because transshipment cargo volumes (i.e., cargo that originates on a neighbor island, is transshipped at YB’s Honolulu hub and terminates at another neighbor island port) are attributed to the neighbor island origin port as “outbound” cargo and the neighbor island destination port as “inbound” cargo.  Transshipped cargo makes up a relatively small percentage of total cargo volume.

Agricultural Cargo Volume by Island and Port – First Quarter 2015

Outbound Agricultural Cargo (CPEs)
Q1 2015 Q1 2014 PercentChange
All Islands 1,911 1,858 2.9%
Oʻahu (Honolulu) 485 370 30.9%
Maui (Kahului) 278 296 (6.2%)
Hawaiʻi Island 974 1,012 (3.8%)
       Hilo 685 801 (14.5%)
       Kawaihae 289  211 36.9%
Kauaʻi (Nāwiliwili) 59 62 (4.9%)
Molokaʻi (Kaunakakai) 116 117 (0.9%)
Lānaʻi (Kaumalapau)  0  0 N/A

Agricultural cargo volumes represent all regulated Young Brothers cargo which qualified for the 30% to 35% “Island Product” discount. In contrast to total cargo volumes in the “Neighbor Island Intrastate Cargo Volume – First Quarter 2015” chart above, agricultural cargo volumes are categorized only by the port from which they originated, meaning the island on which the agricultural product was grown.

Young Brothers measures its cargo in units called “container/platform equivalents” (CPE), which allow a comparison of cargo volumes across different sizes of containers and other non-standardized cargo types.

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