Barge shipment delay results in no burgers, pet food

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Jennifer Pimsaguan of Natural Pet Hawai‘i offers samples Thursday to fill in the holes while waiting on the next Young Brothers barge that will hopefully fill the empty spots.

LIHU‘E — Burger King ran out of burgers, and Kentucky Fried Chicken ran out of mashed potatoes.

These were just some of the effects of a barge shipment delayed due to crew members contracting COVID-19, setting off a small chain reaction on the island.

“We are frustrated because we are serving our customers, and the customers were disappointed,” Burger King Manager Marionette Cataquian said Thursday. “That’s why they come to our restaurant, to buy the stuff they like.”

The fast-food establishment remained busy at lunchtime Thursday, with customers stopping to read that their favorite meals were not for sale. Signs, like Cataquian’s, went up at various spots around the island, notifying customers of the lack of goods.

“The burgers, the Whoppers, every day, that is the one thing people want,” Cataquian said. “We try our best to serve customers. We try to explain, but some customers don’t understand.”

Burger King typically orders extra burgers in each shipment, Cataquian said, and sometimes other restaurants will stop by to pick up those extras. This week, there were no extras.

The barge was initially scheduled to depart from Honolulu for Nawiliwili Thursday, July 22, but was delayed until Saturday, July 24, after five Young Brothers crew members set to sail last week for Kaua‘i tested positive for COVID-19, forcing crew members into quarantine.

Because of temporary adjustments in the sailing schedule to maintain U.S. Coast Guard tug crew-manning requirements, another barge that was scheduled to depart for Nawiliwili this past Monday was delayed.

Natural Pet Hawai‘i in Puhi was also affected, owner Jennifer Pimsaguan reported.

“We keep a list of people to call when their stuff comes in,” Pimsaguan said.

“It’s crazy, it’s weird that one facet of it shuts down and Kaua‘i is left high and dry,” Pimsaguan said. “The outer islands definitely need to figure out something. Barges are really important here. People depend on them every day.”

Some of Pimsaguan’s inventory comes straight to Kaua‘i, others have to stop on O‘ahu, and depending on various circumstances, like one shipment not making a transfer, her items may be delayed.

Natural Pet carries a variety of specialty animal foods, many for dogs or cats with allergies.

“It’s hard for me to run out because people depend on a certain style of food for their animal,” Pimsaguan said.

Young Brothers will sail a recovery on Saturday, July 31, as noted in the customer notice.

“Young Brothers will continue to safeguard the wellbeing of our team members, customers and the communities we serve from COVID-19,” Megan Rycraft, director of health, safety, quality and environment at Young Brothers, LLC, said in a statement last week. “The health and safety of our employees is our top priority as we continue to provide our 12 weekly sailings between the islands.”

The port will have special gate hours on Sunday, Aug. 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with an hour lunch closure starting at noon. These same extended hours will be in effect on Monday, Aug. 2, as well.

Following is a schedule of release of goods:

• Dry and refrigerated straight load containers: upon discharge;

• Refrigerated loose and palletized cargo: Sunday, Aug. 1 at 1 p.m.;

• Dry and mixed palletized cargo: Monday, Aug. 2;

• Automobiles and roll-on roll-off cargo: Monday, Aug. 2.

On the other hand, some weren’t affected at all.

Brandon Yoshimoto of McDonald’s Kaua‘i said it was “business as usual” at his location this past week, and he has not seen any ripple to the delayed shipment.

Yoshimoto said there have been longer delays due to treacherous surf that the barges couldn’t make it through.

“Everywhere will always have hiccups,” Yoshimoto said. “You cannot help that they’re (Young Brothers) taking precautions.”

This article was updated at 10:40 a.m., on Friday, July 30 to clarify when the recovery barge would sail.


Sabrina Bodon, editor, can be reached at 245-0441 or

  1. Sam G July 30, 2021 5:24 am Reply

    Please pardon our dust while we remodel your society into the utopia you voted for.

    “You will own nothing and you will be happy.” – WEF @ Davos.

    1. nobody July 31, 2021 8:18 am Reply

      Wow. Worth a watch on YouTube.

    2. Kali Yuga July 31, 2021 8:49 am Reply

      Here’s the original text –

  2. Klayton Kubo July 30, 2021 6:47 am Reply

    This is a direct result of the stupid out of date Jones Act that prevents foreign ships from competing with US based ones. We are overpaying by 35% for everything on the island due to the Jones Act – which was created and remains unchanged from over 10 0year ago. Ridiculous. But locals would rather beef about tourists petting seals then looking at big problems like the Jones Act. We overpay by 35% on everything. Sick.

    1. nobody July 31, 2021 8:20 am Reply

      It’s lining the pockets of the few.

    2. Kali Yuga July 31, 2021 8:48 am Reply

      Exactly. Grassroots Institute of Hawaii has a lot of information and activism about this lately.

    3. RGLadder37 July 31, 2021 2:48 pm Reply

      The Jones Act are those in power with money. It supports low end cruise ship jobs and barges. It does not affect those already with money. For the poorer, tough luck. Profits shared by the few. This is the place to be.

  3. Buy local July 30, 2021 7:52 am Reply

    Should be a further wake up call to support your local farmers and ranchers. We are short highly processed food imports. They’re doing those who eat at the fast food restaurants a favor.

    1. Ashley July 30, 2021 11:18 am Reply


  4. curious dog July 30, 2021 8:50 am Reply

    How many “Young Bros” employees have been vaccinated &/or are wearing masks on the job? The slick statement Megan put out says nothing about HOW they are “Safeguarding the Well being…”

    Where is their 46% increase in shipping costs going if NOT to buy some face masks for their employees? This, simply put, is a big fish story that should have been prevented.

    “Young Brothers understands that our communities and customers are struggling right now as we all cope with the impacts of COVID-19. That’s why we cut costs and pursued every avenue of assistance before asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve a temporary, emergency rate increase totaling $27 million, which does not include profit of any kind.”

    1. Old braddahs July 30, 2021 4:46 pm Reply

      Plus the only open like 3 days. But they all make 70k plus. Wonder what the salary to hours worked breakdown?

      Also let me know if they’re hiring. Maybe that would speed things up?

      1. RGLadder37 July 31, 2021 1:50 am Reply

        That is a dangerous job. A construction worker at UH Manoa just got killed. He was helping unload a 5,000 ibs. product. How? By trying to guide it. It fell on him. 30 year old guy. You could say he was a temp agency worker. Really stupid workers. And risking their lives for a measeley company. Really suck.

    2. George Ho July 30, 2021 7:26 pm Reply

      The science this week showed multiple cases on the mainland of those who were wearing masks and who were fully vaccinated received the china virus. Demand the worthless, fake president investigate china. Oh, and don’t talk about all the illegals flooding into the US unvaccinated and who are offered the shot but over 1/3 decline. They are then transported into undisclosed destinations and released. And there’s your next ‘hot spot’. Main Stream is silent on this.

  5. MisterM July 30, 2021 10:33 am Reply

    Young Brothers = the face of incompetence in a highly protected business with guaranteed profits and zero competition. Thanks Jones Act for ensuring US citizens are reamed!

    1. truthbeknown July 31, 2021 12:24 pm Reply

      Our representatives in Congress should be sponsoring a repeal of the Jones Act immediately instead of pushing the radar fiasco. Horono and Schatz, do something useful for a change. Or are Young Brothers helping to finance your campaign?

  6. RGLadder37 July 30, 2021 3:37 pm Reply

    And i first saw Targets store on the mainland in Seattle, Washington. This was way back in 1991.

    I think this store opened in 1981.

  7. Kauaidoug July 31, 2021 6:33 am Reply

    Those workers obviously didn’t care enough about the rest of us . Or Young Bros or they would have been vaccinated.

    1. WestsideResident July 31, 2021 2:47 pm Reply

      Judgemental as you are, you aren’t a saint, and certainly you don’t have a way to stop a virus.

      Treatments are the solution, not your vaccine drumbeat. Because masks and vaccines have failed us. Learn to live with it buddy, without attacking others for their innocent existence. Taking an experimental injection for you is not a stranger’s duty.

      If the vaccine works as you believe, take it and mind your own business.

  8. Josh July 31, 2021 8:07 am Reply

    Like most of Hawaiian infrastructure and public works contracts, YB is politically connected and therefore allowed to exist in a monopolistic form to legally steal.

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