Hawaii: An Ideal Hub for Trade

hawaii trade hub

(Click the map to enlarge)

Hawaii is home to ten commercial harbors, eleven commercial airports, and roughly 2,500 miles of roads, making it an ideal hub for trade. In 2018, Hawaii exported $660 million of Made-in-America goods worldwide. The top contributors to the state’s economy are real estate, tourism, construction, and government, including the U.S. military. The island is now the commercial and transportation hub for intra-island commerce and the primary link to the United States mainland, the Far East, and the Pacific Rim economies.

The port of Honolulu is located just three miles from Honolulu International Airport and supplements shipping and intermodal transportation of people and products. The port has come a long way since a sunken ship hull was used as a wharf in the early development of the harbor. The port handles roughly 11 million tons of cargo annually and processes dry and liquid bulk, breakbulk cargo, and passenger and fishing ships. The harbor is also a vital passenger destination for leisure, research, and fishing vessels.

Roughly equidistant between the pacific coast on the U.S. mainland and Japan, the Port of Honolulu serves as a refueling hub for trans-Pacific shipping. Hawaii’s importance to these economies has been solidified as Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand all maintain consulates on the island.

The 1920 Jones Act requires that all cargo transported between U.S. ports be on U.S. flagged ships, built and mostly owned and crewed by Americans. As a result, only three U.S. flagged carriers with a fleet of twenty combined vessels, specifically designed to accommodate the needs of Hawaii transportation commerce, currently provide regularly scheduled shipping services between the U.S. Mainland and Hawaii.

Hawaii is also home to Foreign Trade Zone #9, which promotes business through on-site services such as customs brokers, shipping agents, tariff reduction programs, warehousing, and offices for the international trade community.

Logistics Plus recently opened a new branch office in Honolulu, Hawaii. The new LP Hawaii branch specializes in the movement of project cargo, international freight, warehousing, FF&E projects, and other supply chain-related projects. If you ship to or from Hawaii, or if you have a supply chain that spans the Pacific Ocean, contact us to learn more.