Maui Business

34.2% Decline in Ag Cargo Volumes From Maui

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Young Brothers, Limited reported a 26% decline in shipments on Lāna‘i, due to a continuing reduction in construction activity, according to first quarter 2017 data.

Young Brothers barge, file photo by Wendy Osher.

All other neighbor island ports reported essentially flat volumes over the same period with cargo up a collective 1.4% for the quarter.

Meantime, agricultural sector volumes were down 3.2%, primarily driven by sharply lower shipments originating from the port of Kahului, according to information compiled by YB. The company notes that Maui’s last refinery stopped producing sugar, which was used in manufacturing local beverages.

Modest volume increases of agricultural products from the ports of Honolulu, Kawaihae, and Nāwiliwili were not enough to offset this large loss of Kahului volumes.  Agricultural shipments from Honolulu were up 4.1%; Kawaihae up 5.4%; Nāwiliwili up 14.9%; and Moloka‘i up 3.5%. Conversely, volumes were down 34.2% on Maui; and down 1% in Hilo.

Hilo was the port with the largest year over year increase in overall cargo volumes.  This gain was largely due to more shipment, according to YB.  Other than Lāna‘i, construction-related cargo volumes were up at other ports in the first three months of the year, most notably at the port of Kahului.
Automobile shipments were up slightly for the first quarter, due to the strength of shipping activity by a second-hand automobile dealer; in contrast, shipments by rental car companies were weaker than this time last year. Shipments by beverage companies were lower statewide, whereas cargo volumes from the waste and recycling sector continued to increase following a prolonged period of low recyclable materials prices.
Young Brothers is a publicly regulated water carrier providing 12 weekly port calls from Honolulu to the state’s neighbor island ports, including Hilo, Kawaihae, Kahului, Kaumalapau, Kaunakakai and Nāwiliwili.

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