Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Locavore's dilemma: bread ships from Honolulu to Kauai via Los Angeles

by Larry Geller

Thumbnail via WebSnapr: http://honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080429/NEWS01/804290359In today's Advertiser: Hawaii bakery ships interisland via L.A. Huh? How can that be?

It can. I have some personal experience of weird shipping arrangements.

It was mid-October 1988 and our household goods were all packed up and almost ready to leave Tokyo. We had been there more than 16 years, so we had lots of stuff. One whole container, exactly.

And we were on our way to Honolulu. After so long in Japan we felt it would be hard to return to the East Coast, so we told GE to save some money, drop us off in Hawaii, and that I planned to quit the company. Hey—I was convinced (or I convinced myself) that Hawaii was on the cusp of a high-tech revolution.

It would be cheaper for GE to just let me get off in Honolulu instead of hauling the stuff all the way to Washington DC. So that was the agreed plan. I hoped to learn the Hawaiian word for "sayonara" when we arrived at our hotel and email the folks back at HQ what I planned to do with the rest of my life.


A couple of days before we were scheduled to leave on Halloween Eve, a call came that it was much more expensive to ship a container to Hawaii than to the East Coast. Sorry, but getting my stuff here would be my responsibility. Yikes!

Well, the solution was discovered and our anguish relieved with an ingenious plan cooked up by our shipper, whom I knew from years of doing business with them when we needed to move delicate computer equipment. They suggested shipping to Long Beach, CA, and then back across a huge hunk of the Pacific to Hawaii.  That was cheaper than shipping direct. GE agreed to the idea.

So these things can happen. Ordinary mortals can't understand why it might work to ship to a Neighbor Island by way of the Mainland. It's not logical.

As the Halloween parties wound down in Roppongi and we were gathering our luggage, we got one last call from our Tokyo travel agent to say, "Have a nice fright!"


Did you know that on Kaua`i if you mail a letter it goes to Honolulu for sorting even if it’s going from one P.O. Box to another in the same physical post office.

Yes. All mail (as far as I know) goes to the main post office at Honolulu Airport where they have the sorting machines.

Hey, we're lucky it doesn't go to India yet.

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