Thursday, March 26, 2009


Young Bros. clarifies incorrect info in news

by Larry Geller

An article in today’s Maui News includes Young Bros.’ response to incorrect information they say has been put forth by Superferry passengers and local businesses.

Cacophonous comments frequently attached to Superferry articles claim, for example, that Young Bros. (and other forms of transportation) have not been required to go through the EIS process. The Maui News article states:

The Young Brothers officials said it's not correct to say that their company and others have not undergone environmental review for harbor projects. The 109-year-old Young Brothers has in the past and is today undergoing environmental reviews consistent with the same environmental review laws that apply to Superferry. The requirements kick in whenever the Hawaii Department of Transportation makes harbor improvements, including those laid out in the current Kahului Harbor 2020 master plan and proposed 2030 master plan.

The article also clarified the costs of interisland freight, and noted that shipments do not take “days.” It stated that a barge leaves at night and arrives early the next day. It also described the availability of refrigerated containers for only $30 for 500 pounds and that they have the ability to provide electricity for refrigerated containers.

The Superferry certainly provided convenience and no doubt cost saving for many, but as we noted earlier, its tariff was for passenger and not freight service. They also chose to subsidize the cost of each ride by foregoing the fuel surcharge and operating the ferry service at a loss (according to their own stated requirements for profitability). Since few businesses can operate with perpetual losses, whatever savings were available were likely unsustainable over time.



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