Maui Business

Young Brothers blesses $1.5M mooring system to improve service for Lānaʻi 

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Young Brothers held a blessing ceremony Monday for a new $1.5 million ShoreTension mooring system at at the Port of Kaumalapau in Lāna‘i. PC: Young Brothers

Hawai‘i interisland freight company Young Brothers blessed its new $1.5 million ShoreTension mooring system on Monday at the Port of Kaumalapau on Lāna‘i. The system keeps the barge steady against the dock during poor weather conditions.

The Lāna‘i port is the first in the nation to have this technology, according to Young Brothers. The technology is used in harbors around the globe in countries like New Zealand, Peru and Italy. 

“As the only water carrier to serve Lāna‘i, we take seriously our kuleana to provide safe, reliable, frequent and affordable shipping to this rural community,” said Jay Ana, president of Young Brothers. “This innovative mooring system reflects our commitment to enhancing the reliability of service for Lāna‘i so we can safely deliver the goods the community depends on despite rough conditions.”


Adverse weather, such as large swells, harbor surges, and high winds, regularly plague the Port of Kaumalapau, especially in the winter season. Poor weather can prevent Young Brothers crews from safely loading and unloading barge cargo. When delivery is impossible, Young Brothers regularly attempts recovery sailings at the company’s own expense to ensure Lānaʻi receives its cargo as soon as safely possible.

Young Brothers held a blessing ceremony Monday for a new $1.5 million ShoreTension mooring system at at the Port of Kaumalapau in Lāna‘i. PC: Young Brothers

The mooring system rough weather conditions by using a series of four 100-ton bollards and ShoreTension units to handle tension on the mooring lines that safely hold a barge against the dock during dangerous conditions. The ShoreTension units use the energy they store from the barge’s movement to automatically adjust the tension on the lines — loosening or tightening — as needed to keep the barge secure against the dock.

“Improving and modernizing our harbors is a priority,” said Dreana “Dre” Kalili, deputy director for the State Department of Transportation – Harbors Division. “We appreciate Young Brothers’ collaborative and proactive efforts to implement the ShoreTension mooring system because it will help ensure the uninterrupted flow of goods throughout our island chain.”


The blessing, conducted by Kahu Saul Kahihikolo, brought together elected leaders, Lāna‘i businesses and community members to mark the occasion.  

Beyond the ShoreTension system, Young Brothers continues to reinvest in enhancing its services for Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i. In winter 2024, the company will add a state-of-the-art $10 million barge, Kalohi, to its fleet. The 286-foot-long vessel offers more deck space and cargo capacity, ballastable technology to address changing tidal conditions, and five ramps that enable greater flexibility and efficiency for loading and discharging cargo.

Young Brothers was founded more than 120 years ago and transports 100% of all ocean cargo that originates and ends in Hawaiʻi and is the only water carrier to serve Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i. For more information, visit


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