Got milk? Shipping delays mean bare shelves at Oahu grocery stores

Some Oahu grocery store shelves bare due to cargo shipping delays

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - You may have noticed some of the shelves at the grocery store looking a little sparse lately.

On Monday there was barely any milk left on the shelves of an Ewa Beach grocery store. (Image: Janus Mantaring)
On Monday there was barely any milk left on the shelves of an Ewa Beach grocery store. (Image: Janus Mantaring)

Matson officials confirmed Tuesday that deliveries are behind schedule due to a series of problems over the past few weeks that have made shipping cargo to Hawaii a struggle.

A combination of bad weather and mechanical problems with two of the company’s ships has resulted in empty shelves at several Oahu grocery stores.

A photo taken by a viewer Monday morning at the Foodland in Ewa Beach showed no milk on the shelves.

Another picture taken at the Ewa Beach Safeway shows the store’s dairy section almost completely wiped out.

Much of the diary section was empty at this West Oahu grocery store Monday. (Image: Janus Mantaring)
Much of the diary section was empty at this West Oahu grocery store Monday. (Image: Janus Mantaring)

One of the state’s largest produce distributors says they’ve been dealing with repeated weather delays from both Matson and Pasha since December.

“I cannot remember this kind severe weather being this long lasting. I think it started from the middle of December until now,” said Mark Teruya, CEO of Armstrong Produce.

He says it’s been so bad lately he’s been forced to fly in a lot more food from the mainland.

“This week we had to fly in about a half million pounds of produce because our customers expect us to have the product,” said Teruya. “The cost is a lot higher but you get the product in.”

The CEO of Armstrong Produce in Mapunapuna says repeated delays are forcing the company to use the airlines to fly in more food from the mainland. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
The CEO of Armstrong Produce in Mapunapuna says repeated delays are forcing the company to use the airlines to fly in more food from the mainland. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

Teruya confirms his company did receive a shipment from Matson on Tuesday that should have arrived over the weekend. He says some of it now needs to be packed on a barge and sent to the neighbor islands.

Matson confirms four of it’s ships are currently in Honolulu Harbor.

A spokesperson says they are working to get deliveries out to stores and restaurants in an effort to get back on schedule as quickly as possible.

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