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Your Guide to Shipping to Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most remote places on Earth, so you may be wondering, what is the best way to ship to Hawaii? What is the cost and how long does shipping to Hawaii take?

By REAL. Updated Jul 29, 2022 | Living in Hawaii | 10 min. read

If you are moving to Hawaii, you may be considering a range of costly options to send your all your beloved treasures to paradise. And if you are already living in the Hawaiian Islands, you may be wondering what the best way is to get things to Hawaii.

There are really only a few options for getting your items to or from Hawaii: by a ship (freight shipping), through the mail (Fedex, USPS, UPS), or on the plane with you when you fly (check-in luggage). Read on to learn about the different types of shipping to Hawaii and their pros and cons.

Freight Shipping to Hawaii

When you are moving to Hawaii for the first time, you may want to pack up your entire house, including furniture, clothing, tools, and more. If you are moving a lot of bulky items, you might want to ship them across the ocean with a freight shipping company.

Freight shipping companies are reliable and offer economical and convenient options for packing up your entire house on the U.S. Mainland into a container and moving it in a large vessel across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Here are the answers to some of the top questions to make moving your items via freight shipping to Hawaii easy.

What are the top recommended freight shipping companies in Hawaii?

Matson: 1-800-462-8766

Matson has been shipping to Hawaii since 1882 and has played a significant role in Hawaii’s economic development, including once having passenger liners and Waikiki hotels for Hawaii tourists. Matson was the first company to bring shipping containers to the Pacific, and today they offer a range of services for almost any shipping needs from the U.S. Mainland or Canada to Hawaii or between the Hawaiian Islands.

Pasha: (808) 523-8625

Pasha Hawaii is one of the main shipping companies in Hawaii. They do not typically ship household items to Hawaii. However, they do ship cars, boats, motorcycles, and large commercial cargo. They have vessels that frequently travel between the U.S. Mainland and Hawaii.

Sause Bros: (808) 521-5082

Sause Bros have been around for 80 years and specialize in shipping large boats and other heavy cargo to the islands. They are a family-owned business with ports in Portland, Long Beach, Richmond, Honolulu, and more.

Young Brothers: (808) 543-9311

Are you moving from Oahu to Maui? If you need to ship between islands, Young Brothers is a popular choice. They have been in the business since 1900 and specialize in shipping vehicles and cargo of all sizes – from a single box to an entire container.

Should I go directly with the freight company or choose a freight forwarding company?

Matson is one of the largest shipping carriers in Hawaii and often works with a number of companies, called freight forwarders, that fill their containers and work with a lot of different customers. These companies often get discounted rates, so someone who is moving might choose to use a freight forwarder instead of directly working with the freight shipping company.

Another pro of using a freight forwarder is that they can often arrange for your items to be put into a shared container if you do have enough stuff to fill the entire container – also known as having a less-than-container load (LCL). To do this, freight forwarders usually put your goods on pallets and then charge you by weight.

Here are some of the more popular freight forwarding companies in Hawaii that work with the large shipping vessels to move items across the ocean:

Dependable Hawaiian Express: (808) 841-7311

The first freight forwarder to open in Honolulu, DHX has a range of options for moving items, including trucking, large cargo, delivery, storage, tracking, and more. They have good customer service and competitive rates. Hawaii Express Service, formerly the largest freight forwarder in Hawaii, was recently merged to be under DHX.

Honolulu Freight Service: 877-744-7437

Shipping to and from Hawaii for more than 80 years, Honolulu Freight Service is a family-owned company that works with a range of customers with varying needs. They have service between North American and all the Hawaiian Islands and have a full fleet of trucks and warehouses to help with moving and storage. They can also do refrigerated shipping to Hawaii, so if you need to ship a lot of ice cream from the Mainland to Hawaii, you can.

What are the options for freight shipping to Hawaii?

When working with a freight shipping company, they often offer a number of options for shipping. It is important to know what is available for freight shipping to and from Hawaii, so you can make the best choice for your situation:

These companies often use smaller containers, called cubes. Shipping cubes are often more expensive than using a freight container directly, but they offer a number of benefits including being able to lock, being smaller, and working with companies that have full moving services like packing and storage.

How long does it take to ship a container to Hawaii?

The time it takes to ship to Hawaii depends on a number of factors, such as the company you choose, your departure location, and the items you are shipping. If you are using freight shipping, it might take anywhere from a week to a month. Since the coronavirus pandemic, freight shipping has slowed down even further to and from Hawaii.

If you need something immediately, it is recommended to pack it into your check-in luggage or carry-on when you fly to Hawaii. UPS and USPS are also often faster shipping options than freight shipping. Read on to learn more about shipping with UPS or USPS to Hawaii.

How can I pack a shipping container, so it arrives safely in Hawaii?

What is the best way to pack a shipping container? When you start your packing journey, you may be wondering how your items will safely make it across the ocean. Here are the top tips for packing a container for Hawaii:

What about shipping a car to Hawaii?

Shipping a car to Hawaii is often a separate charge from shipping household items. Therefore, if you decide to ship your car to Hawaii, you will need to make separate reservations, usually at least two weeks before you decide to ship. Usually cars will be dropped off at the port, and some companies will even pick them up at your home for an additional charge.

Cars will be shipped across the ocean in auto frames, containers, or in garage stowage on the ship. In order for cars to be successfully shipped, the company will often ask you to have your car completely empty and with a certain level of gas in the tank. The shipping companies will often ask for the original title and registration to ship the car.

What is the cost to ship a car to Hawaii? The cost to ship a car to Hawaii can range from $1,000 to $5,000. Car prices are higher in Hawaii than many other places in the United States, so it might make fiscal sense to ship your car rather than buying a car in Hawaii.

How long does it take to ship a car to Hawaii? Shipping a car to Hawaii could take anywhere from one week if it is shipped from California with certain companies to over one month. You will need to think about what you will do for transportation – whether riding the bus or renting a car – while waiting for your car to arrive in Hawaii from the Mainland.

UPS vs USPS Shipping Hawaii

While most people who are moving a lot of items will decide to go with freight shipping since it is cheaper, if you do not have a lot of stuff or want your items to arrive in Hawaii faster, you might choose to use the mail to ship your items. Also when you are already in Hawaii, you will most frequently use mail ship to send and receive items from around the world.

The cost for shipping to Hawaii via mail will depend on the weight and size of the package and also how you decide to ship it – whether first class, priority, or other methods. Here we weigh the options for shipping with either USPS or UPS to Hawaii.

USPS

UPS

Shipping to Hawaii

Whether using the mail or a large marine vessel, it is possible to move items from around the world to one of the most isolated location on Earth – Hawaii. While shipping to Hawaii is not always the easiest or most seamless task, it is possible through a number of companies and transportation methods.

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