Cargo volumes show growth at end of ’13

Young Brothers shipping between Honolulu Harbor and Kahului Harbor, the largest Neighbor Island port in terms of cargo volume, rose 1 percent in 2013, and the smallest, Kaumalapau Harbor on Lanai, saw shipments grow 21 percent.

In the report released Wednesday by the shipper, outbound shipments of containers and platform equivalents (CPE) from Kahului Harbor rose nearly 4 percent compared to 2012; inbound shipments were nearly the same as 2012. Total shipments were 47,621 CPEs at the harbor in 2013.

For Lanai, inbound cargo was up 23 percent and outbound shipments rose 11 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year, Young Brothers said. Total shipments for 2013 were 4,498 CPEs.

Kaunakakai Harbor also saw a jump in shipments in 2013, up 7.2 percent to 6,465 CPEs. Inbound shipments were up 3.3 percent and outbound cargo rose 18.4 percent last year.

Young Brothers reported that intrastate cargo shipments between Honolulu and the six Neighbor Islands rose 1.5 percent in 2013, compared to 2012.

“We turned the corner in 2013, but we still have a long way to go relative to the boom period we experienced during the middle of last decade,” said Glenn Hong, president of Young Brothers. “Cargo volumes started coming back in the second quarter last year and maintained relative strength to finish 2013 with some growth.”

Hong said that some economic reports have been mixed, “but we’re hopeful that there is enough fuel in the economy to continue to drive increasing cargo volumes in 2014.”

The report also tracked agricultural cargo shipments: Kahului Harbor volumes grew 9 percent in 2013, compared to the previous year; Kaunakakai Harbor cargo was up 8 percent. Kaumalapau Harbor did not report agricultural shipments.

For all of Young Brothers, agricultural volume grew 4 percent in 2013, a more moderate pace than the 12 percent increase in 2012.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, Kahului Harbor volume rose 1 percent, Kaunakakai Harbor by 12 percent and Kaumalapau Harbor by 22 percent.

Young Brothers, with 340 employees statewide, began operations in 1900. The shipper is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission and makes 12 weekly port calls from Honolulu to Neighbor Island ports.