2013 Shipping & Transportation
High fuel costs challenge shippers and transporters to keep supply lines open to Hawaii
Hawaii ranks as the No. 1 state for number of domestic shipments, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and these companies have found the secret to staying afloat: good people.
A Matson ship arrives in Hawaii almost every other day, allowing businesses to rely on the company’s vessel schedules to replenish their inventories.
The Matson name has been synonymous with Hawaii living for as long as you or anyone can probably remember. The company has been serving the Islands since 1882 and considers itself a member of the community. Often described as Hawaii’s lifeline, Matson brings in virtually all of the types of goods needed to support the Island economy, such as perishable food, paper products, construction materials and automobiles.
“We’re a part of the culture and the fabric of Hawaii,” says company spokesperson Jeff Hull. “We had a big role in the development of tourism in the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s with our passenger ships, and a lot of our company culture is centered on Hawaii-focused community service.”
The company recognizes that the community is what has helped it reach such success over the past 130-plus years, and it’s dedicated to giving back. The Matson Foundation focuses its efforts on initiatives with long-term benefits.
“We help local schools, hospitals, museums and community programs,” Hull says. “We also have an environmental and community-relations program called Ka Ipu ’Aina.”
Ka Ipu ’Aina, which means “container for the land,” offers assistance to nonprofit environmental cleanup projects. Matson donates a container for the cleanup as well as trucking services to haul the container to and from the site. The company covers the cost of any waste associated with the cleanup and also donates $1,000 to whichever nonprofit is associated with the cleanup as well.
“Last year there were 100 cleanups on Oahu alone,” Hull says. “That resulted in $100,000 of cash donations, which went largely to school sports teams.”
But the community giving is not limited to financial contributions. Matson employees also give their time to volunteer for such organizations as the Special Olympics, Easter Seals Hawaii, Aloha United Way, American Red Cross and the Hawaii Food Bank. The Matson team comprises individuals who truly care about one another as well as the land they call home.
Many of Matson’s team members have lived in Hawaii their whole lives, and many tend to stay on the team for many years. In fact, several have been with the company for more than 30 years. The company culture is one focused on people.
“It’s characterized by a lot of long-service employees who develop lasting relationships with each other, our customers and other business partners,” Hull says. “We are based in Hawaii. It is our home, and we are dedicated to serving it.”
Reggie Maldonado, General Manager, Pasha Hawaii
When you think of shipping and transportation, images such as ships, trucks, cranes and machinery come to mind. But for Pasha Hawaii, it’s the people that make all the difference.
Since the launch of Pasha Hawaii’s first vessel in 2005, the family-owned transportation and logistics company has grown tremendously by utilizing exceptional communication between its team of employees and its customers. That communication has led it to pursue a variety of vessels suited to the needs of its customer base. In fact, Pasha Hawaii’s first pure car/truck carrier came as a response to requests from automotive customers looking for fully enclosed decks.
“Our service offerings quickly expanded to provide transportation for heavy machinery, oversized cargo and even yachts,” says Reggie Maldonado, the company’s director/general manager. “Last year, again having been approached by many of our customers to expand our specialized shipping services, we included container shipping. Now, with a new vessel under construction, we are expanding this segment of our service to not only broaden the scope of our services but also to provide weekly service to our customers in Honolulu and the neighbor Islands.”
The new vessel, a 692-foot combination roll-on, roll-off container ship, will come with a shipping capacity of 2,750 units and will launch in 2014. Expanding the company’s fleet has seemed to become part of business-as-usual at Pasha. The company attributes much of this success to its team.
“We pride ourselves in our people and ensuring we are all focused on delivering value to our customers and our company — and we do that every day,” Maldonado says. “Every employee on the Pasha Hawaii team, whether here or on the Mainland, believes in what we are trying to achieve.”
Pasha Hawaii recognizes outstanding employees with award ceremonies as well as mentions in company communication and personalized notes. The company also continually seeks to identify opportunities and challenges in creating teams of people who are excited about building the company. The culture centers on building positive, long-term relationships within the company and with the customers as well.
“Excellence, honesty, integrity, innovation, and most importantly, teamwork, are our company values,” Maldonado says. “These are values Pasha established decades ago. We are fortunate to have a highly motivated team of people who really get it when it comes to sticking to our core values and believing in our mission.”
Exceeding Hawaii’s inter-island shipping and transportation needs for more than a century, Young Brothers has invested in several initiatives to better serve customers and improve operational efficiency. “Our recent additions of newer barges were designed to be more fuel efficient. In addition, we have equipped our tugboats to include monitors that help maximize fuel efficiency. Similarly, in shore-side operations, a photovoltaic system was installed to save on electricity,” says sales and marketing manager Keith Kiyotoki. “This allows Young Brothers to save money and pass that savings along to our customers.”
Efficiency is essential not only for Young Brothers as a shipping company, but also for Hawaii residents and visitors. “Interisland shipping is a major engine in our state’s island economy,” Kiyotoki says. “Hawaii’s businesses rely on our shipments to arrive on time, with their cargo delivered safely and securely, so that they in turn can provide their customers with those same goods and products.”
For Young Brothers, those goods and products encompass just about everything for every kind of customer, whether it’s a grocery store’s perishables, a construction company’s materials and equipment, or a family’s personal belongings. “It’s also important to note that Young Brothers provides an agricultural discount for farmers to ship their local product to and from the neighbor islands, supporting state policy to sustaining local production of agricultural products,” Kiyotoki says.
Keith Kiyotoki, Sales and Marketing Manager, Young Brothers
And the customers they serve have learned to rely on Young Brothers not only for on-time service, but for their frequency as well. “We have 12 weekly round-trip sailings to all major shipping ports,” Kiyotoki says, referring to the ports throughout the state of Hawaii on Oahu, the Big Island, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai. “These communities depend on the regular frequency that Young Brothers provides.”
The company operates its barges using what Kiyotoki refers to as “a hub-and-spoke system.” With Honolulu being the hub port, Young Brothers is able to transport cargo to and from the neighbor islands. In transport, Kiyotoki says a typical transit time is 12 hours, with some longer transit times for barges going to and from ports on the Big Island. That type of turnaround time can make all the difference, as it provides the local businesses and residents a very economical and timely way to ship their cargo, especially when perishables and other time-sensitive materials are on board. “Barges generally depart in the late afternoon and arrive the next morning,” Kiyotoki says.
Founded on a mission to help transport goods and services between Honolulu and the neighbor islands, Young Brothers plans to continue its tradition of providing regular, frequent and on-time sailings to all of the neighbor islands. “That’s our heritage and why Young Brothers is your neighbor island partner,” Kiyotoki says.
Do you like what you read? Subscribe to Hawaii Business Magazine »