Categorized | Business

Neighbor island cargo volumes slip 2.1 percent


Young Brothers, Limited has announced intrastate cargo shipments between Honolulu and six neighbor island ports decreased 2.1 percent from July through September of 2014 compared to the same period of 2013, when cargo volumes rose more than 5 percent.

“The bar was set high last year, so we knew going into July of this year that it would be a tough comparison and difficult to maintain the trend of finishing on the plus side,” said Roy Catalani, vice president of Young Brothers. “Nonetheless, a two-point dip in cargo volume indicates some softening in neighbor island economies.”

Indeed, the third quarter of 2014 marks the first decrease of Young Brothers’ cargo volume over the last six quarters. In the first quarter of this year cargo volume increased by 4 percent, followed by a relatively flat second quarter which still inched up by 0.3 percent.

In 2013, when the positive trend started, volume climbed 4.4 percent in the second quarter, 5.2 percent in third and 0.6 percent in the fourth.

Cargo volume decreased at four neighbor island ports during the third quarter of 2014: Maui, down 4.2 percent; Kawaihae, 4.6 percent; Kauai, 6.0 percent; and Molokai, 3.9 percent. Two ports experienced a spike in cargo: Hilo, up 3.4 percent, and Lanai, up 20.0 percent, which continued its string of double-digit increases.

Industry segments showing strength during the third quarter include government shipments and utilities. Higher-than-normal cargo volumes moved to the Big Island to help the Puna area recover from Tropical Storm Iselle with repairs to electric, phone, and cable infrastructure. Segments declining during the quarter include food and beverage, and recycling.

Volume Up 0.6 Percent Through Nine Months Ending September

Overall volume for the first nine months of 2014 remained in positive territory, increasing 0.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Cargo volume declined at four neighbor island ports in the first nine months of the year while two ports experienced an increase.

Maui volume dropped 0.8 percent; Kawaihae, down 0.8 percent; Kauai, 3.5 percent; and Molokai, 4.5 percent. Volume increased at Hilo by 4.3 percent and by 40.6 percent at Lanai.

Energy-related segments, including renewable energy and petroleum, are up through the first nine months. Volumes attributable to the construction sector are mixed thus far in 2014, with no clear growth trend for the neighbor islands as a whole.

However, the impact of this year’s economic activity on Lanai is clear. Without this year’s volume growth on Lanai, Young Brothers’ year-to-date volumes would reflect a 0.7 percent decline.

Shipping volumes for the third quarter and the nine-month period ending Sept. 30, 2014 are shown by port in Appendix 1.

Agricultural Cargo Rises by 10 Percent in Third Quarter

Agricultural cargo volume continued to increase quarter over quarter, rising 10.3 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013. This follows a 5.7-percent increase in the second quarter. For the first nine months of 2014, agricultural volume rose 7.3 percent compared to the same period of 2013.

Agricultural exports increased at four ports during the third quarter: Hilo, up 6.3 percent, Kawaihae, up 79.9 percent; Kauai, 38.2 percent; and Molokai, 19.2 percent. Honolulu and Maui agricultural exports declined 1.5 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

“The increase in ag cargo demonstrates that demand for locally grown food remains strong,” Catalani said. However, the large increase in cargo from Kawaihae was due in large part to limited period demands for landscaping projects on Lanai and livestock movements on other islands, Catalani added.

During the first nine months of the year, four ports experienced an increase in volume: Hilo, up 9.5 percent; Kawaihae, 42.7 percent; Kauai, 12.9 percent; and Molokai, 7.5 percent. Agricultural volume fell at Maui by 10.6 percent, while volume at Honolulu finished flat, up 0.1 percent.

Agricultural volume includes only cargo that qualifies for the company’s island product discount of 30 to 35 percent, which applies to locally grown agricultural products.

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