Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Using new shipper
might save money

Question: Awhile back, I read about a new company that collects heavy and bulky items from the mainland that would be really expensive to airmail or could not be delivered to Hawaii, then loads them onto a container ship and sends the items by ship to Hawaii every two weeks or so? Can you tell me the name of the company or direct me to a Web site? I haven't been able to find it.

Answer: The details you mention don't fit, but we think you are referring to the Oahu-based company, Ship To Hawaii, which started Dec. 1.

Call 237-5252 or visit its Web site at www.shiptohawaii.com.

In the six months since the Star-Bulletin first reported on the new company (http://archives.starbulletin.com/2004/12/03/business/engle.html), co-owner Andrew Riehemann says it's become a profitable enterprise, offering comparatively low rates to have something shipped by air freight to Honolulu.

In the next couple of weeks, he will expand to the neighbor islands.

Ship To Hawaii is a members-only service, open to anyone who pays a membership fee: $20 a year for a resident membership allows you to ship up to 600 pounds for the year; $75 (aimed at small businesses or hobbyists), up to 1,200 pounds a year; and $150 (for large businesses), unlimited shipping for the year.

Awareness of the business has been spreading mainly by word-of-mouth, Riehemann said. As of last week, there were 341 members, 20 percent of them small- to medium-sized businesses.

"We're shipping roughly 8,000 pounds of freight a month," Riehemann said.

The per-pound charge is a flat $1.12 a pound. The rate was increased just last week, from the initial $1.05 a pound charge, because of increased fuel costs.

Anyone who has paid for shipping to Hawaii knows how expensive that can get. Some companies won't even ship to Hawaii.

Riehemann is able to offer low rates by being Web-based and relying on bulk: "It's really a simple service I'm trying to promote," he said.

"As soon as you sign up, you get a unique member ID," he said. "As you buy your packages on the Internet or order them through the catalog on the phone, from the mainland, you can have those packages shipped to me, in Phoenix, Ariz."

Typically, according to Riehemann, mainland companies will either offer free or low ground rates for shipping to points to and from points on the mainland.

So, "there are two calculations that customers have to do in their head," he said: the shipping charge for an item from, say New York to Phoenix, then Phoenix to Honolulu, using Ship To Hawaii.

Add those two prices together and determine if the total is less than if that company from New York just shipped it to Honolulu by 2nd-day air. Typically, he said, his rates are 30 to 70 percent lower.

Riehemann has contracted with Lynden Air Freight, which flies packages for Ship To Hawaii from its warehouse in Phoenix to its warehouse in Honolulu at a discounted rate.

Just by putting your member ID on the package, "You don't have to call me or tell me that you have a package (ordered)," Riehemann said.

On his end, as soon as a package is delivered to the Phoenix warehouse, he will enter the information into his computer system, then send an e-mail to the purchaser, saying "we've got your package in Phoenix."

Approximately two to four days later, another e-mail message will be sent saying the package is ready for pick-up in Honolulu, he said.

Q: Several months ago, I called the state Department of Transportation about a problem -- no results yet. At the Kalanianaole Highway/Keolu Drive junction in Kailua, when the traffic light allows Waimanalo-direction traffic to turn left from Kalanianaole onto Keolu, the lights are red for Kailua-bound traffic, meaning to stop. However, the outer lane here allows right turns only into Keolu. So a situation exists where left turns and right turns merge going into Keolu. The state should post a "Yield on Red" sign for this outer, Kailua-bound lane when the signal allows left turns into Keolu from Kalanianaole Highway. Too many drivers go barreling into Keolu from Waimanalo, causing a potential for accidents and road rage.

A: No time frame was given as to when a "yield" sign might be posted, but Transportation department officials agree that such a sign "can be installed to reduce conflicts."

However, they need to determine an appropriate location for the sign, department spokesman Scott Ishikawa said last week.

Meanwhile, he said there is "actually no merge" at that intersection.

"After you turn from Kalanianaole Highway, there are two lanes on Keolu Drive until you reach the next intersection where Keolu Drive connects in a loop," he said. "Because the left lane is a left-turn only lane, motorists coming from Kalanianaole Highway change lanes either to the left or right depending on where they want to go. This appears to be the source of the complaint about the driver behavior."

Kamehameha plaques

In time for Kamehameha Day, the Department of Accounting and General Services dedicated new interpretive plaques at the base of the King Kamehameha statue fronting the Hawaii Supreme Court building on Thursday.

The plaques, one each installed on four sides of the curb that surrounds the statue, grew out of a reader's complaint (Kokua Line, Jan. 10) about the lack of signs identifying the statue.

The plaques coincide with the decorative panels at the base of the statue, explaining each one.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
E-mail to kokualine@starbulletin.com

E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com