HONOLULU — The volume of cargo shipped between Oahu and six Neighbor Island ports was flat for the first quarter of the year, posting 0.2 percent gains compared to the same period last year, according to a Wednesday report from Young Brothers.
“The first quarter ended with a modest increase in shipments at most of our ports,” said Roy Catalani, vice president of Young Brothers. “Young Brothers’ smallest port, Lanai, was the only one to see a decrease, down 26.2 percent for the quarter, due to continuing reduction in construction activity.”
The other five Neighbor Island ports all experienced gains in cargo volume: Kahului up 0.7 percent, Hilo up 3.2 percent, Kawaihae up 0.9 percent, Nawiliwili up 1.5 percent and Molokai, up 0.8 percent.
Other than Lanai, construction-related cargo volumes were up at other ports in the first three months of the year, most notably at the port of Kahului.
Automobile shipments were up slightly for the first quarter, due to the strength of shipping activity by a second-hand automobile dealer; in contrast, shipments by rental car companies were weaker than this time last year.
Shipments by beverage companies were lower statewide, whereas cargo volumes from the waste and recycling sector continued to increase following a prolonged period of low recyclable materials prices.
The agricultural sector, however, is down 3.2 percent — primarily driven by lower shipments from Kahalui. Maui’s last refinery stopped producing sugar, which was used in manufacturing local beverages.
Modest volume increases of agricultural products from the ports of Honolulu, Kawaihae and Nawiliwili weren’t enough to offset the large loss of Kahului volumes.
Agricultural shipments from Honolulu were up 4.1 percent, Kawaihae up 5.4 percent, Nawiliwili up 14.9 percent and Molokai up 3.5 percent. Volumes were down 34.2 percent on Maui and down 1 percent in Hilo.