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Sunday, October 30, 2016
55% Hike in Harbor Fees: Transportation Department Grabs for More of Your Money
By News Release @ 5:03 PM :: 2086 Views :: Jones Act, Taxes, Cost of Living

State Seeks Big Hike in Harbor Fees

Star-Adv Oct 30, 2016: The state Department of Transportation wants to hike fees for unloading cargo at Hawaii ports by about 50 percent over two years in a move that would pay for harbor improvements and likely make most things local consumers buy more expensive.

The Department of Transportation proposes to raise fees for using state wharves 17 percent next month, then 15 percent next July followed by another 15 percent in July 2018.

Compounded, the increases amount to a 55 percent hike and would add about $100 to the charge on a 40-foot container, from $179 today to $277 in 2018.

There also would be a $15 security fee added to each container or shipped item under 60,000 pounds.

If implemented, the higher costs affecting prices of goods including food, general merchandise, building materials, cars and fuel will follow seven straight years of increased wharfage — payment for use of the port — that compounded into a 180 percent increase, or a near tripling, since 2010.

The DOT intends to make a decision on its own proposal Nov. 25 and has scheduled public hearings on the subject throughout November….

The first public hearing on the proposal will be Nov. 7 at noon at the Pier 11 terminal at Honolulu Harbor. Another Oahu meeting will be Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. at the same location.

Neighbor island meetings will be Nov. 7 on Hawaii island, Nov. 9 on Maui, Nov. 10 on Lanai, Nov. 21 on Kauai and Nov. 22 on Molokai….

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Recent HIDOT Money-Grubbing Activities

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News Release from HIDOT, October 4, 2016

The Department of Transportation Harbors Division (DOT Harbors) will hold statewide public hearings on its proposed amendments to Title 19, Hawaii Administrative Rules, as noted below: 

  1. 19-44-63, Wharfage computation – Proposal specifies that security facilities fees are included in wharfages charges;
  2. 19-44-64, Waiver of wharfage – Proposal clarifies that wharfage will not be waived for “empty” containers carrying dunnage and stevedoring equipment;
  3. 19-44-65, Transshipment of cargo – Proposal reduces transshipment rates from 100% to 50% of the prevailing wharfage rate;
  4. 19-44-66, Wharfage rates – Proposal increases rates by 17%, 15%, and 15% over three years;
  5. 19-44-68, Cement in bulk and liquids passing through pipelines; rates – Proposal increases rates by 17%, 15%, and 15% over three years;
  6. 19-44-69, Wharfage rates for fuel – Proposal increases rates by 17%, 15%, and 15% over three years; and
  7. 19-44-73, Incremental increases to wharfage rates and passenger fees – Proposal allows for incremental annual increases of 3% over the then prevailing wharfage rate, or an increase in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is greater, starting July 1, 2019.

  The public hearings shall be held as follows:

  • Oahu – November 7, 2016, 12:00 p.m. at Pier 11 Terminal (700 Fort Street, Honolulu)
  • Hawaii – November 7, 2016, 6:00 p.m. at Aupuni Center Conference Room (101 Pauahi Street, Hilo)
  • Maui – November 9, 2016, 6:00 p.m. at Kahului Harbor Cruise Terminal (103 Ala Luina Street, Kahului)
  • Lanai – November 10, 2016, 12:00 p.m. at Lanai Public & School Library (555 Fraser Avenue, Lanai City)
  • Kauai – November 21, 2016, 6:15 p.m. at Lihue Public Library (4344 Hardy Street, Lihue)
  • Molokai – November 22, 2016, 12:00 p.m. at Mitchell Pauole Community Center (90 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai)
  • Oahu – November 23, 2016, 6:00 p.m. at Pier 11 Terminal (700 Fort Street, Honolulu)

All interested persons may attend the public hearings to submit data, views, or arguments, orally or in writing. 

The DOT Harbors will make a decision on Friday, November 25, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. at the Pier 11 Terminal at 700 Fort Street in Honolulu.  

The proposed rule amendments are available online at as well as the website of the Lt. Governor and will be available for review in person from October 5 through November 23, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (exclusive of State and Federal holidays) at the DOT Harbors Administration Building at 79 S. Nimitz Highway in Honolulu.  A copy of the proposed rule amendments will be mailed to any interested person who requests a copy in writing.  The written request must state the requester’s name and mailing address and must be sent to 79 S. Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI  96813.   Any person requiring a special accommodation (e.g., large print materials, assistance of a sign language interpreter) at the public hearing are asked to contact (808) 587-1933 at least two weeks in advance of the public hearing.  

Ford N. Fuchigami

Director of Transportation

October 5, 2016

To view the proposed amendments, click here


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