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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Young Bros. laments PUC delay

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

Containers are removed from a barge at Pier 40 by Young Brothers Ltd. The company wants to discontinue its "less than container load" ser-vice at Kahului Harbor Jan. 1 and had asked the Public Utilities Commission for approval by June 1 to allow an ample transition period.

GREGORY YAMAMOTO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Young Brothers Ltd., the state's largest interisland cargo provider, yesterday said the state Public Utilities Commission's delay in granting its request to discontinue noncontainerized cargo service to and from Kahului Harbor will cause problems at the port.

Young Brothers is seeking to discontinue its "less than container load" service Jan. 1. It says it will run out of room when the state reallocates 23 percent of its existing Kahului facility in early 2007 to begin construction in preparation for Hawaii Superferry operations.

Young Brothers asked the PUC for approval by June 1 so the company, commercial freight consolidators and Young Brothers' customers will have a seven-month transition period before the change. The PUC last week issued an order suspending the request essentially pushing back a decision as late as November.

The PUC's order noted that Young Brothers' proposed changes would discontinue less-than-container-load service to and from the company's sole port of call on Maui and will mandate that shippers consolidate and unconsolidate their cargo outside the harbor for shipments to and from Kahului.

"Young Brothers' proposals, in essence, raise matters that merit further review," the order said. Part of the PUC's examination will include public hearings statewide in June and July. At least some Maui businesses have expressed concerns about the change, according to Maui Chamber of Commerce president Pamela Tumpap.

Young Brothers said it already is operating well beyond its Kahului facility's designed capacity and that the reduction in space requires the change.

"Eliminating the consolidation of freight on harbor facilities and having it handled by consolidators is the only viable option to ensure Maui's cargo needs will be met for the future," said Young Brothers president Glenn Hong.

Young Brothers officials said freight consolidators need at least seven months before the change occurs to buy equipment and secure facilities to handle additional cargo. The company also said customers need the time to review their options and select freight consolidators.

Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com.