HONOLULU - Young Brothers overall saw a slight increase in its intrastate cargo shipments between Honolulu and six Neighbor Island ports, according to the company's quarterly shipping report for the first quarter released recently.
Among its increases, Kahului saw the highest climb with a 6.3 percent increase during the first quarter from January to March. According to Ray Catalani, Young Brothers vice president for strategic planning and government affairs, Kahului's increase appears to be largely driven by "inbound" cargo, or cargo headed to Kahului, which jumped 7.6 percent from a year prior. There was a 1.4-percent increase in outbound cargo from the previous year.
Kaunakakai showed the largest decline in cargo volumes, which was down 9.5 percent from the first quarter of last year. It was largely driven by a 30.9 percent decline in outbound cargo, combined with 3.5 percent decline in inbound cargo, a news release said.
In Kaumalapau, Lanai, the port experienced a 5.3-percent increase in overall cargo volume from the first quarter of last year.
Young Brothers said its overall intrastate volumes were up 2.6 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago.
"The first quarter volume gain is modest, so it is still a little early to tell whether Neighbor Island economies collectively have begun to climb out of the bottom of the recession," said Glenn Hong, president of Young Brothers. "Although residents and businesses in Hawaii continue to manage through a difficult economic environment, given what's transpired in the past few years, it's encouraging to see even a modest increase in Neighbor Island economic activity and the associated intrastate cargo volumes."