Cargo shipments between Hawaiian Islands decline

Cargo shipments between Honolulu and six Neighbor Island ports declined by 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to the Young Brothers’ quarterly shipping report.

Young Brothers transported 31,144 cargo items between Honolulu and Neighbor Island ports in this year’s first quarter, down from 32,416 items in the first quarter of 2012.

“It’s disappointing to start the year with a decline,” said Glenn Hong, president of Young Brothers. “Nevertheless, it’s a continuation of the volatility we’ve experienced in quarterly comparisons of intrastate cargo volumes over the last few years. The trend has been sideways – a slight up quarter, followed by a dip. We believe that some local businesses, particularly those on the Neighbor Islands, are still being very cautious.”

Cargo volume at Kahului Harbor, the largest Neighbor Island port in terms of intrastate cargo volume, declined 5.8 percent this quarter.

Cargo volumes also declined at ports in Hilo and Kawaihae.

Much of the reduced cargo volume was from local recycling companies and the federal government, which includes the U.S. Postal Service, according to the report.