Hawaii Logistics: Moving on Island Time

Hawaii Logistics: Moving on Island Time

As an island state importing most goods it uses and with limited storage, Hawaii challenges companies to keep shipments moving just in time. Here’s how logistics providers shore up supply chains and keep disruptions at bay.

The Aloha State is known for its stunning beaches, mild temperatures, and lush greenery. It regularly tops the lists of places people would most like to visit.

Getting there, however, can be challenging, whether the move involves people or products. “Hawaii is smack-dab in the middle of the Pacific and surrounded by water,” says Troy Pagaduan, director of operations for Logistics Plus Hawaii.

“As an island state, Hawaii is the most isolated population center on earth,” says George Pasha, IV, president and chief executive officer with Pasha Hawaii, a leading domestic ocean shipping company. “The closest landmass is California, which is about 2,400 miles away.”

As a result of its distance from other population centers, about 85% of goods used in Hawaii are imported, and 91% of the imports come through the state’s commercial harbor system. “It takes a tremendous amount of planning and expertise to sustain Hawaii’s supply chain without disruptions,” Pasha says.

Adding to the challenges, storage capacity on the islands is limited, so most shipping needs to be done on a just-in-time basis. An effective just-in-time approach requires constant communication between shippers, carriers, and others involved in logistics.

Shipping to Hawaii: Cost and Transit Time

Most shipments to the Aloha State travel by ocean, because it’s more economical than air transit. Overnight shipments are doable, but costly.

Ocean transit time from the West Coast is about four days, says Phil Hinkle, general manager with SeaWide Express, a supply chain solutions provider. Of course, some shipments first need to get to the West Coast. For those originating in eastern United States, shippers typically need to add four or five days of travel time.

Another fact to keep in mind is that the ocean carriers sail to Hawaii from the West Coast twice a week. Miss a sailing date, and you need to wait for the next one. “This puts transit time from origin to destination at about 10 to 14 days for most goods,” Hinkle says.

Floating Inventory

Some higher-volume shippers use what they refer to as “floating inventory,” says Chris Palmer, director of the Hawaii trade lane with Lynden, a logistics solutions provider.

Given the lack of warehouse space, businesses ordering goods to fulfill inventory needs typically factor in 8 to 10 days transit time from their source to their facility. Disruptions, whether from weather or mechanical problems, can easily upset this scheduling, Palmer says.

Along with the U.S. Postal Service, major integrators support Hawaii, including UPS, FedEx, and DHL, for both mainland and international packages. U.S. passenger carriers fly most of the air cargo to Hawaii.

Once shipments arrive in Honolulu, which is where most shipments from the mainland United States arrive, some need to go to the other islands. Most travel by barge, says James P. Beidleman, president and chief executive officer with Honolulu Freight Service. This adds another day or two of travel time.

Hawaii’s unique location offers a logistical upside. “Vessels have been calling on Hawaii for 100 years,” Palmer says. “Shipping is always a challenge, but shipping to Hawaii is now a specific science.”

Island Regulations: What You Need to Know

While getting goods to Hawaii takes time, the documentation required is generally no different than for shipping goods to any other state. However, shippers of fish, wildlife, agricultural products, and hazardous materials typically must comply with more stringent requirements, says Randy Tutor, vice president of strategic accounts with Approved Freight Forwarders.

The Jones Act also impacts shipments to Hawaii. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act requires, among other provisions, that U.S.-flag ships conduct shipping between U.S. ports. To qualify, a vessel must meet several requirements, including that it was built in the United States, and owned by a company with 75% U.S. ownership.

Hawaii’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 9 (FTZ9) can offer shippers savings through duty deferral and avoidance, and the ability to avoid some state and local taxes, among other benefits. Since 1966, FTZ9 has handled nearly $60 billion of goods.

Despite its isolation, Hawaii hasn’t been immune to the challenges that have impacted supply chains in other parts of the country. Labor is one. “Hawaii has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and labor remains a big challenge,” says Kane McEwen, president, DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express.

Hawaii’s topography, while stunning, can also present logistical challenges. Most trailers on the island measure 40 feet long, rather than 53 feet. The reason? Narrow streets and a lack of loading and unloading docks, as well as forklifts. “Many locations are tight,” McEwen says.

Packaging Shipments

Because most freight to Hawaii moves over the ocean, proper packaging is critical. “It’s not a smooth ride,” Hinkle says. Machinery and equipment that might travel easily over the mainland with little protective packaging likely will need to adhere to International Packaging Guidelines for ocean travel.

The packaging that might suffice for, say, a grocery pallet traveling 50 miles from a distribution center to a store might not hold up for a trip of several thousand miles and multiple handlings.

“You need to make sure it’s packed properly,” Beidleman says.

“It’s important that products are packaged to withstand transit, and not just from the mainland origin to the outbound port,” McEwen says. “They must also be packaged strong enough for the roughly 2,600 miles over the water to Hawaii. There is considerable movement inside the containers while on the ocean vessel.”

At the same time, because shipping rates to Hawaii are typically calculated based on cubic feet rather than by weight, shippers will want to minimize unneeded packaging.

Given that shipping is done just-in-time and with limited storage capacity on the islands, shippers should reserve their bookings as early as possible, Pasha says. Making the reservation helps activate the primary and ancillary logistics required for seamless deliveries.

The state of shipping to Hawaii continues to evolve. For example, the Kapalama Container Terminal project, a new container terminal scheduled for completion in January 2024, features an 84-acre cargo yard and 1,800 linear feet of new berthing space.

Technology also is evolving. “Ocean carriers and logistics providers are upgrading their systems to offer more automation and visibility,” says Mike Kraft, vice president, Pacific, with Honolulu Freight Service.

As the U.S. government looks to the Pacific to counter China’s dominance, shipments to Hawaii may increase, Palmer says. It’s likely material and equipment will travel through the state to locations in Guam, the Kwajalein Atoll, and the Philippines, among other locations.

Several leading service providers can help shippers move freight in and out of Hawaii with ease.

Approved Freight Forwarders: Local Experts with Global Knowledge

Approved Freight Forwarders brings 30 years of experience serving the Hawaii market. Among other services, it provides ocean freight consolidations, air freight, and over-the-road transport of goods and commodities, as well as project management, white-glove delivery, assembly and installation, drayage, pickup and delivery, consolidation and deconsolidation, and inventory management.

“We offer a great deal of knowledge of this market and have many experienced employees on our team,” says Randy Tutor, vice president, strategic accounts.

In working with clients, Tutor and his colleagues first engage and identify their pain points. “We use this information, complemented by our experience, to work together to come to the best choices and drive improvements,” he adds.

Through its daily dedicated air freight service to Hawaii, Approved Freight Forwarders operates as an indirect air carrier, using passenger flights to move cargo. This approach offers more flexibility than is typically the case when using an asset-based carrier, given the large number of passenger flights that take off to and from Hawaii each day.

From its consolidation center in southern California, Approved Freight Forwarders moves all types of goods in approximately 300 to 400 shipments per day to Hawaii. Its warehouses span more than 300,000 square feet and can accommodate a diverse set of logistics needs. Employees load freight with extra caution, keeping the company’s damage and claims rate to one of the lowest in the industry, Tutor says.

Leveraging its Local Footprint

To handle freight once it arrives in Hawaii, Approved Freight Forwarders operates its own terminals and trucks on Oahu, Maui, and Kuai and in Hilo and Kona on The Big Island.

Approved is the only freight forwarder in Hawaii with five terminals on four islands. The company offers drayage and inter-island shipping, as an example, moving daily merchandise from Honolulu to Maui. “The process works like a hub and spoke system and is done via a set barge schedule,” Tutor says.

Because Approved Freight Forwarders has its own fleet of trucks and workforce on the islands, it has less need to engage third parties. This gives it more control over service and costs, Tutor says.

Approved Freight Forwarders uses Wise Tech Global, a robust system for managing the many steps in its freight forwarding operations, including receiving, cross docking, loading, tendering, and delivering. “All the steps are managed in our system at a high level of efficiency,” Tutor says. Shippers can access all shipment data through the company’s online portal.

Clients engaging in major construction projects and complex distribution models can turn to Approved Freight Forwarders to help them manage the transport and delivery of materials and equipment, including those that are over-sized.

“Managing projects and replenishing goods twice per week is part of the expertise we offer,” Tutor says. “We can provide the right product in the right place at the right time.”

Each Approved Freight Forwarders client is matched with an employee who is dedicated to their account. “We call it the Customer Experience department,” Tutor says. “Rather than trying to connect with various departments to find an answer, customers can call one person.

“We work hard to understand our clients’ business, and to become trusted advisors and identify ways where we can add value,” he adds.

DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express: The Dependable Difference

DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express has operated in the Hawaii logistics sector for nearly 43 years, giving it one of the longest tenures among freight forwarders in Hawaii, says Kane McEwen, president.

Among other services, DHX can book full container loads (FCL) and less-than-container loads (LCL). They can coordinate their customers’ shipments to travel throughout the continental United States, to and from Hawaii, and to and from Guam.

Along with shipping from four West Coast ports—Long Beach and Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington—DHX offers flexible sailing cut-off times and consistent transit times tailored to customers’ expectations and particular shipping requirements.

Seamless Coverage

With their asset-based operations on Oahu, Maui, and the Island of Hawaii, as well as their partnerships with delivery agents in Hilo and the island of Kauai, DHX can provide customers with seamless coverage to all major points throughout Hawaii.

“We load containers directly to all ports, reducing handling and transit time,” McEwen says. DHX is committed to delivering within 48 hours of container availability.

On the islands, DHX has supported many construction companies that operate in confined areas and lack the space to hold materials for any length of time. DHX provides warehousing at all its Hawaiian Island terminals, Guam, and in Southern California.

“When timelines are critical, DHX excels in providing solutions,” McEwen says. “The value of being fully asset-based provides our customers transparency and visibility of their product from origin to destination.”

DHX also provides specialized logistics services, like frozen or chilled transport, as well as project cargo management support. “We provide detailed solutions based on the customer’s needs,” McEwen says.

The average tenure of DHX employees is 22 years. To retain this level of expertise, DHX aims to lead the industry in pay, and offers competitive retirement savings and healthcare benefits.

In providing all modes of services, DHX has maintained a focus on long-term sustainability. DHX has been a certified member of GreenWay Miles for more than a decade. During this time, they have reduced facility emissions by more than 75%. The company’s facilities in Hawaii, Guam, and Los Angeles are completely solar-powered, and management is evaluating the use of electric vehicles.

By leveraging its expertise, dedicated employee base, transportation assets, and use of technology, DHX has helped numerous companies open locations in the Hawaiian Islands.

“We walk through the process with our customers and draw up a timeline to address their specific needs for moving construction material and other goods,” McEwen says. “We focus on dependability and execution that exceeds our customers’ expectations.”

Honolulu Freight Service: A Tradition of Superior Service and Cost-Effective Solutions

During the nearly 90 years Honolulu Freight Service (HFS), a multimodal freight forwarder, has been in business, managing shipments to Hawaii has advanced tremendously, says James P. Beidleman, president and CEO.

The company started when his grandfather, Paul Beidleman, resurrected a trucking company, Yuma Merchants Express, moving loads between Yuma, Arizona, and Los Angeles.

When some truckers didn’t want to deliver cargo headed for Hawaii to the docks in southern California, Beidleman started a new company, United Drayage, to handle the work. This occurred more than 20 years before Hawaii became a state.

Today, HFS, a successor company, provides partial and full container load services and offers short-term warehousing. Through its carrier agreements, including for less-than-truckload, truckload, and rail, HFS can pick up and deliver dry freight from across the United States, and to and from Hawaii.

HFS also offers refrigerated pickup and delivery from three West Coast mainland ports to Hawaii, and can handle chilled and frozen shipments to all the islands. If a shipment needs to be rushed to the islands, the company also provides air service for customers.

“We’ve built decades of trust and enjoy many long relationships,” Beidleman says.

Because it operates its own Oahu and Maui trucking services with more than 100 power units along with Oahu warehousing services, HFS can ensure optimal transit and delivery times. It also brings decades of experience in handling over-sized, over-height, and over-wide cargo.

Honolulu Freight Service Honolulu, the company’s terminal, is located less than two miles from major steamship lines and carriers. The 60,000-square-foot facility offers 14 dock-high doors, ramp access, and quick access to the freeway. The operations department runs 24/7, and customer service is located on-site.

HFS has the volume to direct load shipments that are traveling from the mainland to Honolulu and then to the outer islands. Shipments stay in their containers and aren’t handled again until they get to their destination island. Direct loading reduces touch points and adds only one or two days of travel time.

As a privately held company, HFS has “the flexibility to invest to meet customers’ expectations, without being beholden to shareholders or private equity investors,” Beidleman says.

Expanding Capabilities

In particular, the company is focusing on technology and infrastructure. It’s upgrading its technology to offer more capabilities, focusing on customer-centric visibility into their supply chain as well as gaining operational efficiencies across the entire company. Customers can be confident they will continue to receive the highest quality service they expect from HFS.

With its purchase of the former headquarters of Love’s Bakery, HFS gains approximately 100,000 square feet of space, including 25,000 square feet of chilled and freezer space.

“This will allow us to consolidate all our Oahu operations and offer all logistics services from a single building,” Beidleman says.

Along with its technology and facilities, HFS’ people remain key. “You can have the greatest software and infrastructure, but it comes down to people,” Beidleman says.

The list of employees who have been with the firm for several decades continues to grow. “We are very blessed in that we continue to create an environment where we get great people,” he adds.

Logistics Plus, Inc.: A 21st Century Logistics Company™

A leading provider of transportation, warehousing, fulfillment, global logistics, business intelligence, technology, and supply chain solutions, Logistics Plus can call on 1,000-plus employees in more than 45 countries around the globe. The company has traveled quite far since Jim Berlin founded it in 1996, with three employees, one customer, and a $120,000 purchase order.

In August 2022, Logistics Plus announced the opening of an office located in Honolulu, Hawaii, specializing in the movement of project cargo, international freight, warehousing, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, and other supply chain-related projects. It is the 16th state in the United States with a Logistics Plus office or warehouse.

Troy Pagaduan, a 20-year veteran in the transportation industry, manages the Hawaii office. “We offer 3PL, 4PL, and project management services,” he says. “We’re a solutions provider, and we figure out what steps need to happen to move shipments to Hawaii or elsewhere in the United States or the world.”

Among other capabilities, Logistics Plus can handle project work, freight, and over-dimensional shipments, including those coming from foreign countries.

Addressing Customer Needs

“When meeting with a client, we try to strategize,” Pagaduan says. Along with handling typical shipments, Logistics Plus also manages shipments of larger items, like furniture and fixtures for hotel renovations, the equipment needed for solar projects—a growing focus in the state—and massive transformers.

It also handles consolidations of products from the West Coast, along with air freight forwarding.

Logistics Plus has long focused on reducing its environmental footprint. It joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay Initiative in 2010 and has since received SmartWay approval for 13 consecutive years.

Through its partnership with Ocean Integrity, an organization dedicated to making the oceans safe for all life above and below the water for generations to come, Logistics Plus assists with multiple aspects of supply chain management. This includes the transportation of collected plastic debris, assistance with international regulations, cross-border trading, and navigation of customs and global trade compliance.

To date, through the financing and logistical support it has provided, Logistics Plus has helped remove more than 3.5 million kilos of ocean plastic waste, or the equivalent of about 175 million plastic water bottles.

“Handling logistics in Hawaii is unique, but it’s possible to identify and then choose from multiple options to find the best solutions,” Pagaduan says. “We have a great team with a lot of experience. We can look at all angles of a challenge and figure out a solution.”

In the Hawaiian language, “Ohana” means family and taking care of each other. “All of us at Logistics Plus believe in and practice these traits,” Pagaduan says.

Lynden: Innovative Transportation Solutions to Hawaii

For nearly four decades, Lynden has offered transportation services in the Hawaii market. “We’re stalwart and we’ve been there a long time,” says Chris Palmer, director, the Hawaii trade lane with Lynden.

Lynden offers both air and ocean freight forwarding services, as well as regularly scheduled barge service. Given Lynden’s multimodal capabilities, customers can optimize their time and money by shipping via air, land, ocean, or some combination.

“You pay for the speed you need,” Palmer adds.

Through its partnerships with two major steamship lines, Lynden offers four ocean shipment options each week from the West Coast. Sailing time is typically five days, port-to-port. Shipments can be full container loads or less than container loads.

Aloha Marine Lines, also part of the Lynden family, operates barge service from Seattle. The barge sails several times per month. It takes longer but costs less than many other options, and provides a great advantage for shippers who can plan their projects or inventory replenishments with longer lead times.

Lynden also handles daily air freight shipments, with direct flights from all West Coast cities, as well as from the Midwest and East Coast.

Offering a Range of Options

“Through our multiple transit options, Lynden offers the equivalent of priority, standard, and economy options,” Palmer says. “Whether you need it there next-day or have more time, we can do it.”

Lynden can move shipments to Hawaii from just about any place in the United States or around the globe. It serves all main islands in Hawaii, offering door-to-door service.

Shippers can mix transport modes to gain the right blend of cost and service. Say a shipper has 10 pallets of cargo, and three need to get to Honolulu the next day, while seven can arrive over the next few weeks.

Lynden can work with the company to arrange for the three pallets to fly, and for the other seven to travel over the ocean by ship or barge, so they don’t need to spend a long time in a warehouse. This is key, as the biggest driver of logistics cost in Hawaii—even more than freight—often is property or land for warehousing.

When its shipments travel from Long Beach to Hawaii, Lynden uses its own containers. “We’re the only known operator to use shipper-owned containers (SOC) in Hawaii,” Palmer says.

Within their containers, Lynden uses the Kaptive Beam decking system. “The system helps mitigate damage and allows us to use more space within each container, which keeps costs down,” Palmer says.

The Kaptive Beam system also enables Lynden to more easily mix different commodities. “You can put two heavier pieces of freight on top of each other, and still know they’re both protected,” Palmer says.

Lynden was working with a construction supply company that moves construction materials, appliances, and other products. During the pandemic, when purchases of appliances spiked, the company began to run out of warehouse space in Hawaii.

“We worked with them to bring in appliances through ocean less-than-container load shipments and provided warehouse space to help with their space constraints,” Palmer says.

Through its “One Lynden” approach, clients can make one call, and Lynden will assemble the various departments and capabilities needed to address any challenges.

If a shipper needs to move oversized equipment from, for instance, Texas to Hawaii, Lynden will use its fleet of trucks to move the equipment to the West Coast and then transfer it to an ocean vessel. Once it arrives in Hawaii, the process reverses. “Our One Lynden strategy means one call can solve it all,” Palmer says.

Pasha Hawaii: Family Culture and a Hands-on Approach

As a world leader in integrated transportation and logistics services, Pasha Hawaii offers specialized container, vehicle, and oversized cargo ocean transport, making it easier to ship all types of cargo between the mainland United States and Hawaii.

Pasha also provides total logistics management from origin to destination, utilizing time-tested systems and leading-edge technology.

“Our personalized customer service differentiates us,” says George Pasha, IV, president and chief executive officer.

Pasha Hawaii, an independent operating subsidiary of The Pasha Group, is one of the nation’s leading domestic ocean shipping companies serving Hawaii from the continental United States, and a trusted partner for many leading retailers, manufacturers, and U.S. government agencies. The company operates a fleet of Jones Act-qualified vessels and operates out of multiple port terminals. It provides reliable containerized and roll-on/roll-off cargo services that leverage its ocean transportation and inland distribution capabilities to deliver vital goods.

The company’s link to Hawaii started during World War II, when a Pasha operation in San Francisco began to offer storage and truck-away services to troops as they were deployed to Hawaii. In early 1999, the company recognized the need to provide a new and competitive service to move rolling stock between the Pacific Coast and Hawaii.

This sparked the creation of Pasha Hawaii and the construction of its first vessel, the M/V Jean Anne, the first and only modern pure car/truck carrier (PCTC) in this trade lane, and the only PCTC vessel built in the United States.

Primary Solution Provider

Pasha Hawaii has evolved into a primary transportation solution for a diverse group of clients. “The company’s ongoing investments in infrastructure, including our terminals and vessels to support Hawaii’s growth, help set us apart,” says George Pasha, IV.

Pasha Hawaii is expecting the second of its two new Ohana Class container ship vessels to be delivered in 2023. The first arrived in 2022, operating on liquified natural gas (LNG) from day one—the first LNG-powered vessel to fuel on the West Coast and serve Hawaii.

The second vessel will also operate on LNG and offer weekly California-Hawaii express service, with additional capacity for weekly volumes in the high-demand 45-foot dry and 40-foot refrigerated markets.

The completion of the Kapalama Container Terminal (KCT) on Oahu will significantly improve cargo handling productivity and capabilities and serve as the future home for Pasha Hawaii’s sister company, Hawaii Stevedores.

The $600-million public/private collaboration between the state of Hawaii, Hawaii Stevedores, and The Pasha Group (the parent company for Pasha Hawaii and Hawaii Stevedores) represents the single largest capital investment the harbor system has made.

KCT will serve as one of the state’s most efficient operating terminals, with an environmentally focused design incorporating state-of-the-art technologies, such as an electrified ship-to-shore crane, regenerative energy storage, and microgrid battery energy storage systems.

“KCT represents our commitment to continuously enhance customer satisfaction and experience by offering efficient, expedited service, while at the same time, being good environmental stewards,” George Pasha, IV, says.

“As a third-generation, family-owned company, our corporate culture encourages us to treat each other and our customers as an extension of our ‘Ohana’ or family,” he adds.

SeaWide Express: Service in Every Shipment

Launched in 2016, with the opening of operations offices in Commerce, California, and Fife, Washington, to support service to Hawaii/Guam and Alaska respectively, SeaWide Express is part of AJC Group, a $2.2-billion global food and logistics provider with more than 50 years of experience, including 30 in Hawaii.

“We saw a need in the Hawaiian and Alaskan markets for great customer service,” says Phil Hinkle, general manager. SeaWide Express prides itself on consistently returning quotes within one hour, with a goal of whittling that down to 20 minutes.

Hinkle and his colleagues started SeaWide Express from scratch. “We had no license, and no customers,” he recalls.
Over the past eight years, they’ve built the company into one of the strongest service providers to Hawaii. SeaWide is committed to the Hawaii market, and is aggressively looking to expand and grow, Hinkle adds.

Along with its employee base in Hawaii, SeaWide’s employees are located across the mainland United States. “A shipper on the East Coast can call us and they will get an answer, even if it’s the middle of the night in Hawaii,” Hinkle says.

SeaWide Express takes pride in its low claims ratio, Hinkle says. This is the result of both educating customers on how best to package their shipments, and the care the SeaWide team takes in handling its clients’ products.

“With each shipment we are given the opportunity to handle, we do our best to find the most economical and efficient way to transport it,” Hinkle says.

He and his colleagues will consider over-the-road, rail, air and ocean—or some combination of these modes—to identify the solution that meets the customer’s goals of timeliness and cost.

Recently, SeaWide Express, which operates a consolidation center in La Habra, California, opened a second Hawaii gateway, in its consolidation center in Fife, Washington.

Why Washington? SeaWide’s extensive analysis showed that for many shipments, inland transportation to the Pacific Northwest is less expensive than to southern California.

“With our system, we can plug in the origin and destination ZIP codes, and immediately review rates and inland transit times to both gateways,” Hinkle says. “Customers can choose the option that’s best for them.”

SeaWide’s information system provides shipment updates automatically. Customers can choose when to be notified—say, when a shipment is picked up, on the ocean, and/or delivered.

A New Dimension

Over the past year, SeaWide invested in automated dimensioning equipment. The equipment completes a three-dimensional scan of packages for consolidation. It documents the size, dimensions, and weight of each package, while built-in cameras record information such as barcodes, package condition, and placement within containers.

This data is saved and can be shared for review by customers, shippers, and carriers, helping to minimize claim issues. The equipment also “is a huge time saver,” Hinkle says.

SeaWide, via AJC Cares, their global charitable organization, is involved with Feed the Children, a nonprofit that delivers food and household essentials, offers clean water programs, and assists in times of disaster, among other services.
“We provide food, financial assistance, and logistical help,” Hinkle says.

Over the past eight years, Hinkle has often asked SeaWide’s clients what they like best about the company. “Their answer always is the customer service,” he says. “When clients call, someone answers; when they send an email, they get a response.”

Hawaii By the Numbers

Hawaii consists of seven inhabited islands—Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. It also includes about 130 uninhabited islands.

Nine ports on six islands make up Hawaii’s commercial harbor system. Cargo originating from foreign and domestic ports first enters a cargo-handling terminal at Honolulu Harbor. Cargo destined for a neighboring island is transshipped through Honolulu Harbor and then to its final destination.

In fiscal year 2022, the commercial harbor system processed 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent containers. Also during 2022, the system processed 4.9 million short tons of liquid bulk cargo, or the equivalent of about 36 million barrels of petroleum and chemical products, and nearly 3.4 million short tons of general merchandise and dry bulk cargo.

How a Multimodal Partner Keeps Supply Chains Afloat

By Kevin Kelly
President, Freight Forwarding Division
Odyssey Logistics

In an isolated shipping environment like Hawaii, experienced, local freight forwarding partners can be the difference between on-time deliveries and late shipments.

For years, many businesses operating on the islands have relied on a handful of providers to cover their supply chain needs across ocean, trucking, and rail modes. In recent years, however, the inefficiencies associated with stitched-together supply chain strategies have led to service disruptions.

Utilizing a multimodal partner with boots-on-the-ground experience lets customers leverage a much larger footprint. Consolidated shipping networks represent the key to addressing challenges in Hawaii. As businesses seek to future-proof their shipping strategies, aligning with a multimodal service provider will increase access to the end-to-end visibility and the capacity they need to move cargo on time and on budget.

Today, supply chain visibility and provider reliability matter more than ever. Odyssey can deliver the capacity and flexibility shippers need to succeed. Odyssey provides custom, end-to-end shipping solutions that grow with the customer—adapting to changing demands. From FCL, LCL, temperature-controlled, dry cargo, storage, ocean transport services to truck capacity, Odyssey’s complete multimodal service portfolio maximizes supply chain efficiency.

And Odyssey’s extensive network—including intermodal, truck, freight forwarding, consulting, warehousing, and distribution services—still sweats the details for each and every customer. That’s why we invested in local providers who have built their footprints on the islands and who bring the personalized service and one-on-one support our customers need to tackle supply chain challenges.

With the largest logistics network in Hawaii, it’s a win-win for customers who can capitalize on Odyssey’s footprint, without losing the powerful intangibles that come with working alongside local partners.

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