Cargo shipments between Honolulu and six neighbor island ports fell 3.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, continuing the volatility in intrastate commerce that has persisted since the 2008-2009 recession.
The biggest declines occurred at the neighbor island ports that handle the greatest volumes of cargo, according to the Young Brothers Quarterly Shipping Report released today. Shipments fell 12.3 percent at Kawaihae, 6 percent at Hilo and 5.8 percent at Kahului.
“It’s disappointing to start the year with a decline,” said Glenn Hong, Young Brothers’ president. “Nevertheless, it’s a continuation of the volatility we’ve experienced in quarterly comparisons of intrastate cargo volumes over the last few years,” he said.
“The trend has been sideways — a slight up quarter followed by a dip. We belive that some local businesses, particularly those on the neighbor islands, are still being very cautious,” he said.
Intrastate cargo shipping volumes for all of 2012 were up a scant 0.4 percent.