Maui Business

Young Bros. Cargo Volumes Up Slightly in Second Quarter

August 29, 2015, 10:10 AM HST
* Updated August 29, 10:12 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

Young Brothers Ltd. recently announced that intrastate cargo shipments between Honolulu and six Neighbor Islands were up marginally in the second quarter of 2015, increasing by just .8 percent.

“With respect to overall cargo volumes, it was another relatively uneventful quarter,” said Roy Catalani, vice president of Young Brothers. “However, a strong finish in June pushed the quarterly comparison into positive territory. We’re hopeful the June numbers will be at the leading edge of a trend that will carry into the summer and through the remainder of 2015.”

Four Neighbor Island ports experienced gains in cargo volume during the second quarter: Maui, the largest Neighbor Island port in terms of volume, was up 1.1 percent; Kawaihae on Hawai‘i Island, was up 11.9 percent; Kauaʻi, up 3.5 percent; and Molokaʻi, 1.9 percent.

Cargo volume decreased at Hilo’s port, down 2.8 percent, and Lānaʻi was down 26.1 percent.


Strong second quarter gains in Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) cargo, which includes any cargo type that can be driven onto a barge (not including most passenger vehicles), were attributable to a combination of construction activity and customers changing out fleet equipment.


Shipments by auto rental companies also showed solid gains during the second quarter. A few auto rental companies adjusted their fleet to meet seasonal rental demand in the second quarter.

In addition, preceding events such as the Lions convention on O‘ahu and the Merrie Monarch festival on Hawai‘i Island, rental cars were repositioned to meet increased demand.

Cargo from recycling activity also increased—probably in relation to construction activity on the Neighbor Islands, particularly from the ports of Kauaʻi, Kawaihae and Kahului.


Cargo volume dropped among several sectors, including new automobiles and energy.

First-Half Volume Slips .5 Percent

Overall volume for the first six months was down very slightly, slipping by .5 percent, compared to the first six months of 2014.

Most Neighbor Island ports experienced a decrease in volume for the first half of 2015. Maui volume dropped 1.5 percent; Hilo, down 2.9 percent; Kauaʻi, 0.5 percent; and Lānaʻi, 22.1 percent.

Cargo volume increased at Kawaihae by 11.2 percent and on Molokaʻi, barely rising by 0.2 percent.

Agricultural Cargo Volume Flat in Second Quarter and First Six Months

In the second quarter, ag cargo volume statewide was relatively even, dipping slightly by 0.4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. During the first six months of the year, ag volume finished with a minimal increase, rising just 0.7 percent compared to the same period of 2014.

Hilo’s ag volumes dropped in the first six months compared to last year, largely due to the continuing drought.

Nevertheless, the overall amount of ag cargo statewide is virtually unchanged year over year.

In addition, according to Catalani, Young Brothers is seeing more island produce shipping out of O‘ahu, largely from food distributors, while experiencing volume growth at Kawaihae due to a spike in cattle shipments.

Three ports experienced an increase in exports of ag cargo during the second quarter: Honolulu, up 32.1 percent; Kawaihae, 21.3 percent; and Kauaʻi, 37.7 percent. Agricultural cargo exports declined from Maui and Hilo .6 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively, while such cargo from Molokaʻi was unchanged.

During the first half of the year, ag exports rose from Honolulu, up 30.0 percent; Kawaihae, up 28.2 percent; and Kauaʻi, 10.9 percent. Ag cargo declined from two ports during the same period, including Maui, down 3.6 percent, and Hilo, down 18.9 percent. Molokaʻi’s agricultural exports were virtually unchanged, slipping by .1 percent.

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

For more information, go online.

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