Business Report: A look at supplies, shipping, and storms

Updated: Sep. 13, 2018 at 9:54 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Hawaii gets rained on and blown around and the ports are closed, we tend to think of maritime shipping in simplistic terms - what computer people call binary thinking. Either the ports are open and all is well, as exemplified by this drawing, or ports are closed and you can't find anything, whether it's a 2x4 or Vienna sausage.

We think we're in imminent danger of running out of everything, as exemplified by THIS drawing. But when a storm passes and normality is restored, that happens at different speeds for different goods.

As a storm approaches, shipping lines feel comfortable sending barges to sea with full containers, but not with LCL or less-than-containerload shipments. And after skies clear it takes longer to take smaller shipments, including subsidized farm shipments from neighbor islands to Honolulu. The practical effect is, ag shipments take longer than most other stuff to get shipped, and sales are lost. Shipping by air costs several times more.

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