HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a private sector economic indicator, Young Brothers Ltd. reports a 1.9% decline in cargo shipments between islands during the first quarter, compared to the same time last year.
Cargo shipping volume to Kawaihae, on the west coast of the Big Island, rose 10.5%, but that was the only exception to the overall downtrend.
Declines in cargo volume to other Hawaii ports:
- Molokai down 1.6%
- Hilo down 2.9%
- Kahului down 4.1%
- Nawiliwili down 4.8%
- Lanai down 17.4%
Agricultural shipments were down to all ports but Honolulu and Kawaihae, but the increases at those ports, more than 30% in each case, were sufficient to produce an overall increase of 2.9%. This refers only to local farm products eligible for the deep discounting Young Brothers offers for such goods.
Young Brothers Vice President Roy Catalani said the high volume of agriculture shipping at Kawaihae reflected the increased sales at two Big Island dairies, the last two commercial milk producers in the state. He attributed the decline in farm products from Hilo to drought.
The amount of cargo moving between islands yields information about the strength of neighbor island economies. For example, when construction picks up on islands other than Oahu, it is Young Brothers that handles a lot of the supply shipments. And construction activity has indeed lagged on other islands so far.