Cargo shipments between Honolulu and six neighbor island ports rose 2.6 percent in the first three months of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, according to a report issued today by Young Brothers Ltd., the state’s main interisland shipping company.
The economic recovery on the neighbor islands has lagged that of Oahu, so the increase in shipping volumes is a welcome sign, said Glenn Hong, president of Young Brothers.
“The first quarter volume gain is modest, so it is still a little early to tell whether neighbor island economies collectively have begun to climb out of the bottom of the recession,” Hong said. “Although residents and businesses in Hawaii continue to manage through a difficult economic environment, given what’s transpired in the past few years, it’s encouraging to see even a modest increase in neighbor island economic activity and the associated intrastate cargo volumes. Of course, intrastate cargo volume is only one barometer of neighbor island economies.”
The cargo data was included in the inaugural issue of the Young Brothers Quarterly Shipping report. The report tracks cargo volumes using a standard unit of measurement called “container/platform equivalents. Young Brothers uses the CPE measurement so it can compare cargo volumes across different sizes of containers.
For the January-through-March period the volume of cargo from Honolulu to six neighbor island ports totaled 32,618 CPEs, up 2.6 percent from 31,786 CPEs in the first quarter of 2011.
Kahului experienced the largest in increase in volume with shipments rising by 6.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. Shipments rose by 5.3 percent to Lanai, by 4.3 percent to Hilo, and by 2.4 percent to Kawaihae. Shipments fell by 9.5 percent to Molokai and by 2.5 percent to Kauai