Higher automobile and vehicle shipments helped drive up second-quarter cargo shipments between Honolulu and the Neighbor Islands - including a 3.6 percent jump at Kahului Harbor - according to interisland shipper Young Brothers.
For the April-to-June period, intrastate cargo volume rose 4.4 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012, the shipper said Friday. The 4.4-percent jump in volume was a marked recovery from the first quarter of the year, when cargo volumes were down 3.9 percent, the shipper said.
"Cargo volumes turned around in the second quarter," said Glenn Hong, president of Young Brothers. "We are optimistic for continuing signs of strength from important sectors of the economy, such as the construction industry."
Container shipments to Kaunakakai were up 10.5 percent for the quarter compared to 2012 and, Kaumalapau, Lanai, shipments were up 12.2 percent.
"Nearly half of the second-quarter volume growth was driven by higher automobile and other vehicle shipments. Rental-fleet and auto-dealership volumes were particularly strong," Hong said. "In addition, agricultural cargo and renewable energy cargo, namely biodiesel fuel, are growing segments."
On the negative side, U.S. postal shipments continued their downward trend, Hong said.
For agricultural cargo exports for the second quarter, Kahului was up 28.3 percent and Kaunakakai, up 11.9 percent. There were no agricultural data for Lanai.
Agricultural cargo volume statewide increased by 11.1 percent over the year-ago quarter, returning to a trend of double-digit increases in quarterly comparisons after seeing only a slight move upward of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, the report said.
Looking at cargo volume for the first half of the year, Kahului was down 1.1 percent compared to the January-to-June period in 2012. Lanai volume rose 19.8 percent, and Kaunakakai was up 6.1 percent.
For the state, overall volume for the first six months was basically flat from a year ago, increasing just 0.1 percent compared to the first six months of 2012.
"The upturn in second-quarter volume helped return our year-to-date volume back to 2012 levels," Hong said.
For the first six months of the year, statewide agricultural volume was up 6.1 percent. Kahului Harbor's agricultural exports for the half year were up 25 percent from 2012. For Kaunakakai, agricultural exports were up 12.6 percent.
Young Brothers' quarterly intrastate shipping volumes reflect only cargo shipments that originate and terminate within Hawaii.