YB wants to stop hauling small loads

LIHU‘E — Young Brothers shipping company is seeking permission to discontinue less-than-container-load shipping of goods to and from Kaua‘i, according to a request recently submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission.

The request, which also includes a request for $25 million in CARES Act funds from the state, has been met with resistance from the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce, which maintains the change in shipping procedures could hurt Kaua‘i business owners.

In a recent statement against the change, Mark Perriello, chamber president and CEO , explained that the decision would negatively impact sectors including manufacturing, retail, food production and provision, farming and construction.

“Some chambers members have reported they don’t have enough volume of business to utilize a full shipping container and that using air freight is prohibitively expensive,” Perriello’s letter reads.

According to Young Brothers President Jay Ana, the Hawai‘i-based shipping company had been predicted before March to hemorrhage a total of $13 million in 2020, with the projected loss now expected to grow more than that by the end of the year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Young Brothers hard,” Ana said. “Our projected losses will grow to at least $25 million unless we can chart a new course with the state Legislature and Public Utilities Commission. We remain hopeful that our continuing conversations with the state will yield a sustainable path towards a stronger future for our company.”

Like many other companies, Young Brothers implemented several cost-cutting moves to streamline their operation and overhead due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the written letter to the PUC states.

“Our parent company covered more than $21 million in losses between 2018 and 2019. I was faced with the magnified losses described above, and I was recently informed that additional infusions of cash would not be available after May 31, 2020. Young Brothers expects that absent immediate relief from the state, (we) will soon be unable to pay our expenses or continue operations.”

The company has temporarily reduced sailing schedules to Maui. The other Hawai‘i counties reduced gate hours for non-barge days at all of the major ports, and implemented hiring freezes and salary cuts.

“Developing this contingency plan for Young Brothers involved some incredibly difficult decisions,” Ana said. “Ultimately, the people of Hawai‘i should know that our top priority is finding real solutions to ensure uninterrupted service to all of the communities we serve.”

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Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

7 Comments
  1. nobody June 1, 2020 7:48 am Reply

    I get it, they just want profits and subsidy. No way.


  2. Uncleaina June 1, 2020 8:11 am Reply

    They need to find a better place to save money. Carrying partial containers shouldn’t be something that’s going to sink them financially. They own the monopoly on inter island shipping- seems like they should be making money. When you deal with them it’s all paper receipts and angry employees. Seems like they need to modernize and check their operations rather than provide less services.


  3. randy kansas June 1, 2020 10:45 am Reply

    and partial loads are worse for the planet…fuel and such to carry a half empty container…


    1. Betty Ball June 2, 2020 7:17 am Reply

      Randy you are 180 degrees off. Currently they can put two (or more) partial loads to fill one container. But now they want to carry one partial load and charge you for a full container. So end result will be more “half empty” containers and more containers overall.


  4. Keapana1968 June 1, 2020 8:13 pm Reply

    This is not good Kauai and the outer islands as we rely on YB for pretty much everything. This is one instance where government funding is crucial. If not, just you wait and many of our essential items will not be able to be delivered. Ok if you can fly to Oahu and bring back, but that is not allowed. It’s a choke hold and if you previous commenters like make joke about profit/services and not be aware of the real effect of this then you blind and without compassion.


  5. Dotty June 2, 2020 9:26 am Reply

    Is Young Bros trying to scare people unnecessarily to leverage higher rates aka more profit? I have been having freight shipped via YB for years and I usually don’t have a full container load so their process is to co-load a container…meaning they fill the container with more than one shipper’s goods. Because of this, I don’t understand their threat of not shipping partial containers.


  6. Joe Public June 2, 2020 9:58 am Reply

    YB has been on a semi-modified schedule prior to COVID and increased it during. They put restrictions on their shipping, except barge days, they close half-day. Now they want to only move containers? They are trying to make this a money making project for the company, making the islands suffer, while they make a profit with the relief efforts.

    We need another shipper to service Hawaii, YB thinks they are invaluable to Hawaii, we need a “Southwest” for the seas too.


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