Shipping, Transportation & Storage 2014
As the shipping and transportation industry continues to fluctuate with the ever-changing economy, see how the top companies weather the ebbs and flows by concentrating on the core of their business: customer service.
Hawaii ranks No. 1 for many things. We rank at the top of the Gallup Poll’s wellbeing index, making us the healthiest—and happiest—state in the nation. Our beaches consistently place in numerous Top 10 lists, and the state’s TheBus system has also been rated as the nation’s best. Another No. 1 ranking should come as no surprise, considering our isolated island chain: The state with the most domestic shipments, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Shipping and transportation companies provide a literal lifeline for Hawaii’s residents, carrying everything from our groceries and medicine to military vehicles and construction materials.
Whether we realize it or not, we all depend on shipping and transportation in some way. While we go about our daily lives, there are others working tirelessly to ensure that those lives go on uninterrupted.
As the local economy strengthens, the demand for commodities increases, and all the while, fuel costs continue to surge. Those in the shipping and transportation industry have been tasked with creating innovative solutions to keep costs as low as possible for their clients, which in turn keeps costs low for end consumers.
Photo: Courtesy of Matson
Matson, a Hawaii staple since 1882, has seen its share of changes in the shipping industry, but company spokesperson Jeff Hull says what’s remained the same has been the core of the company: customer service.
A leader in the industry, Matson helped to spearhead container shipments in the 1950s to make the shipping process as streamlined as possible.
“Before that, great bulk ships would load with nets and other devices. With containers, you put something in a box at the point of origin, put it onto a truck or train and then onto a ship,” Hull says. “That changed shipping worldwide, and Matson was part of the revolution, especially in the Pacific.”
There are even Matson containers on display as part of the America on the Move exhibit at the Smithsonian. Although the containers mark a transformation in the industry, Hull points to the driving force behind the change, customer service, as non-yielding.
Matson’s customer service and community orientation has led the company to incorporate such things as a zero solid waste program and several community outreach programs into its regular routine, as well as regular updates to its fleet. The company is investing in two new ships that will have liquid natural gas capabilities, allowing them to reduce air emissions.
“It’s more than putting goods on a ship and getting it to another port,” Hull says. “We actually work with customers from their distribution points, and with Hawaii in particular, we are part of the state’s distribution system. Customers rely on us.”
That reliance starts at the point of origin, where goods are loaded onto a container before being transported to the ship. Then, when the cargo arrives at a terminal, there are Matson-dedicated facilities in place to ensure well-organized truck turn time to get the container to its destination efficiently.
“You want your cargo when it comes in, and you want the truck to deliver it quickly,” Hull says. “This is all part of our system, and businesses can rely on us to replenish their inventories regularly.”
In Hawaii, this last point is perhaps the most essential. For many businesses, storing additional inventory is not an option, and so they rely on the regularity of shipments instead.
Over the past year, the economy has been making a comeback. People are buying houses and going shopping, and tourists are flocking to the Islands. But ask those in the shipping industry, and they’ll tell you that it’s not just people who are coming back strong, it’s commodities, too.
“The overall volume of cargo to Hawaii has increased in the last year versus 2012,” says Reggie Maldonado, director/general manager of Pasha Hawaii.
The company, which is owned by The Pasha Group, and more specifically, the Pasha family, has been operating since 2005, but has long-standing roots in the Islands.
“The Pashas have been conducting business in Hawaii dating back to the 1960s,” Maldonado says.
The group started during World War II by offering storage and truck-away services to U.S. troops in San Francisco as they were deployed to Hawaii. As the economy fluctuated over the years, increased demand for shipping became prevalent, and the group recognized an opportunity to continue its service to the Islands, forming Pasha Hawaii.
Increases in demand for shipping are common in the industry, and Pasha Hawaii has poised itself to take on that growth. The company has adapted to the many changes in demand since its inception, expanding its services to provide transportation for heavy machinery and oversized cargo such as yachts and even Black Hawk helicopters. They’ve also streamlined their operations to create a more efficient process from the point of origin for their clients.
“Our purpose-built, roll-on/roll-off vessels and trained professionals provide a clear advantage in shipping rolling stock to and from Hawaii,” Maldonado says.
Customer service is always top of mind for Pasha Hawaii, and part of that service is taking care to protect the environment whenever possible.
“Pasha Hawaii is investing in new purpose-built assets that are updated to the latest environmental standards,” Maldonado says. “The M/V Marjorie C is currently under construction in Mississippi and is scheduled to make her voyage to Hawaii mid-year.”
The new vessel will come equipped to exceed new environmental standards. For example, its built-in battery-operated cranes will reduce the need for shore power will increasing efficiency. It will also run opposite the company’s M/V Jean Anne, creating a new weekly option to the Islands.
“Our customer’s satisfaction is fundamental to our business,” Maldonado says. “We listen to their concerns and demands and we are proactive in exceeding their expectations.”
The Hawaii Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ #9)
The Hawaii Foreign-Trade Zone #9(FTZ#9) has served as the statewide grantee for the Foreign-Trade Zone program since 1966. The FTZ#9 is a division of the State of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and encourages international business and economic development within the State. The FTZ#9 is a statewide resource and provides your business with cost-saving tools such as secure warehousing, export financing and manufacturing support.
Being Hawaii’s international trade specialist, the FTZ#9 provides your business with services such as customs brokers, shipping agents and freight forwarders, along with flexible warehousing, on-demand labor services and inventory management all under one roof.
“The FTZ#9 is a program that assists Hawaii businesses with their operational cash flow,” says Administrator David Sikkink. “Businesses that have leveraged the benefits of the program are able to successfully compete in the global marketplace.”
In 2014, the FTZ#9 will open International Trade Resource Center (ITRC) building expansion. The ITRC facility will house 40 new offices, with shared working, incubator and conference space for importers/exporters and Hawaii’s maritime industry.
Businesses interested in office space are encouraged to call (808) 586-2507 or email email@example.com
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