The 2022 Guide To Hawai‘i's Shipping, Air And Transportation


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Nov 27, 2023

The 2022 Guide To Hawai‘i's Shipping, Air And Transportation

According to The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), “Between December

According to The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), "Between December 2020 and December 2021 the imports [to Hawaii] increased by $127M (68.7%) from $184M to $311M." Top imports included petroleum products, cars, food, furniture, and building supplies. Though efforts are being made to increase the Islands’ sustainability, more than 80% of the state's food is currently imported.

Through technological innovation, environmental responsibility, and dedicated customer support, the shipping industry has consistently delivered these essential items, keeping Hawaii's store shelves stocked as the world continues to navigate the ongoing pandemic and other supply disruptors like the Ukraine war. Reliable and timely shipping are essential to the Islands.

Celebrating its 140th anniversary, Matson has been shipping to and from Hawaii's Steadfast Shipping Industry Hawaii since 1882. One of the company's core values is environmental stewardship. The company has invested $1 billion in its Hawaii service with the recent introduction of four new ships with advanced environmental features and new electric cranes for its Sand Island terminal. Utilizing the latest in green technology, its new Kanaloa Class ships designed specifically for Hawaii service feature environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, a fuel-efficient hull design, freshwater ballast systems, and the first Tier 3 dual-fuel engines to be deployed in containerships serving West Coast ports. Two of Matson's ships will soon be retrofitted to run on LNG (liquefied natural gas). Len Isotoff , Senior Vice President, Pacific, says, "Matson is committed to reducing its fleet greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, and achieving net zero emissions by 2050."

Despite the severe congestion at U.S. ports that has contributed to widespread supply chain delays for much of the past year, Matson has been able to maintain its Hawaii schedules, due in large part to having dedicated terminals and equipment on the West Coast and in Hawaii. "Matson hasn't canceled a single voyage during the pandemic," Isotoff says. "Thanks to the great teamwork of our shoreside employees and vessel crews, the ships continue to arrive three times a week, like clockwork."

Matson provides industry-leading on-time delivery of essential goods to Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Micronesia, and South Pacific islands. It also operates the #1 expedited service from China to the U.S. West Coast. As a key supply chain partner, its dependable U.S.-built, -owned and -operated ships and assets can be relied upon to continually replenish customer inventories.

"Matson has been doing this for 140 years in Hawaii. We understand the importance of our role in the local economy and we take a lot of pride in our customer relationships," said Len Isotoff , Senior Vice President, Pacific. "With the fastest, most frequent and reliable service in the market, Matson also has the equipment and expertise to carry everything imaginable."

Matson has invested $1 billion in recent years to upgrade its Hawaii fleet and terminal facilities. The company donates more than $1.5 million annually in cash and services to support of the work of hundreds of nonprofit community organizations in Hawaii.

Celebrating 140 years of dedicated Hawaii service, Matson remains deeply invested in providing the highest level of service to the Islands for many years to come. Learn more at

Matson will expand into additional space at Sand Island when Pasha Hawaii moves to the new Kapalama Terminal expected to open in 2024. Pasha Hawaii's fleet is also growing, with new ships named after George Pasha, IV's late parents, MV George III and Janet Marie. Entering the Hawaii/Mainland trade lane with Honolulu as their home port, George III will be the first natural gas-powered containership to service Hawaii, and Janet Marie follows. George Pasha, IV, President and CEO, of Pasha Hawaii says that both ships will "surpass the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2030 standards for ocean vessels with close to zero sulfur emissions, a 99.9% reduction in particulate matter, a 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide and 25% reduced carbon dioxide as compared to liquid oil fuels." These vessels are environmentally beneficial "by operating on natural gas, and energy conservation will be achieved with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form, and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller."

"I am so proud of how well our team performed in Hawaii and on the mainland – what I call the unseen first responders – to ensure the Hawaii community had secure access to groceries, COVID-19 and relief supplies – all with on-time deliveries," says George Pasha, IV.

As pandemic restrictions continue to lift, Pasha is strategically navigating the changes. "We continue to develop our service offerings for Hawaii and related markets, despite the many challenges that exist in today's global environment [like] rising fuel prices, war in Ukraine, COVID-19-related shutdowns and production delays," says George Pasha, IV. "We demonstrate our resilience in seamless deliveries and excellent on time results. Our customer survey scores are some of the highest we’ve ever recorded for which we are sincerely grateful, and we take as proof that we must be doing something right."

Pasha Hawaii is a third-generation family-owned company with roots to the Islands dating back to World War II. With more than 450 employees, Pasha Hawaii is one of the nation's leading domestic ocean shipping companies, providing dedicated service to Hawaii from the continental United States.In 2005, MV Jean Annewas Pasha Hawaii's first vessel to serve the Hawaii trade lane. Today, Pasha Hawaii currently operates a fleet of six vessels out of multiple port terminals, providing reliable door-to-door containerized and roll-on/roll-off cargo services to the people of Hawaii.

Honolulu Freight Service (HFS) has made its customers a priority for 86 years. As Hawaii's largest freight forwarder, the company offers rapid cargo movement on all scheduled sailings from the West Coast ports (Tacoma, WA/Oakland, CA/Long Beach, CA) to Honolulu and all neighboring islands. HFS owns and operates its own Oahu trucking and warehousing service, ensuring the best possible intra and inter-island service available. Cargo is never left behind.

Raymond Rodriguez, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, says, "We make service to all islands with every sailing and our whole company is actively engaged each day communicating with our customers."

The company's trained transportation professionals are committed to delivering the personalized quality of service that comes from being an experienced business leader. HFS’ culture of ‘ohana has enabled it to grow with talented and dedicated personnel. This spirit of ‘ohana manifests itself each day in employee pride and an ever-growing customer base. During the last few years, HFS has invested heavily in technology, trucks, properties, cold chain, various assets, and people. Many staff members have been with HFS for over thirty years, a solid team that customers know and trust.

Rodriguez says, "We are always searching for ways to improve our four West Coast trucking companies and our large Oahu trucking divisions through analyzing our processes and testing the latest transportation tech. We are in a constant state of refinement with all our operations constantly looking for even the smallest improvements to our already great service. There is always room to do better and our teams go after it every day."

Throughout the pandemic HFS has served customers by delivering worry free transportation. Some of its key services offered include dry & refrigerated LCL & FCL, flat rack, project cargo, Hawaii local trucking, eastbound service, a cargo consolidation program, and warehousing. Customer requirements shifted more than usual during the pandemic, and they needed assistance with storage, delivery scheduling, and shipping options. "There was no challenge our customers faced that we could not help them with. We are extremely proud of our employees and the spirit of ‘ohana, which was present all through Honolulu Freight as so much uncertainty was surrounding everyone. Difficult times are great opportunities to highlight the value we offer our customers," Rodriguez says.

Honolulu Freight is a multi-modal freight forwarder servicing the Hawaiian Islands for over 86 years. We provide partial and full container ocean transport and off er pickup and delivery of dry freight from anywhere in the United States to and from the Hawaiian Islands. In addition, we offer refrigerated pickup and delivery from the U.S. West Coast port areas to Hawaii. HFS owns and operates one of the largest Oahu trucking operations and a diverse warehousing service, ensuring the best possible intra and inter-island service available. We also have 4 West Coast terminal locations utilizing the ports of Tacoma, Oakland, and Long Beach. HFS is committed to providing our valued customers with excellent, efficient and comprehensive transportation solutions to and from the Hawaiian Islands.