Hawaii Shippers Council expects Hawaii Legislature to discuss Jones Act reform next year

Kathleen Gallagher Reporter Pacific Business News


Dec 2, 2015


Hawaii Shippers Council is hopeful that a new resolution to reform the Jones Act will be introduced into Hawaii state Legislature in the new session. If passed, the resolution would help state leaders pressure Congress to modify the federal law.


The Hawaii Shippers Council has been campaigning to reform the Jones Act for more than five years. However, that hasn’t stopped it from powering on as the Council’s noncontiguous trades Jones Act reform proposal is still being actively discussed and they expect it to be a point of discussion next year.

Honolulu Harbor is preparing for major upgrades.


“In a nutshell, our proposed reform would exempt the noncontiguous domestic shipping trades from the U.S. build requirement of the Jones Act for large oceangoing self-propelled ships,” Michael Hansen, president of the Hawaii Shippers’ Council said.


Trades from Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico are included in the proposal.


The U.S. build requirement is the primary cost driver, Hansen explained. The cost of building a new ocean-bound ship in the U.S. is now five times the cost of constructing a comparable ship in Japan and South Korea.


“We are not proposing to repeal or abolish the Jones Act, nor allow foreign flag ships into the domestic Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico trades,” Hansen added. “Other than eliminating the build requirement, our proposal would retain the other Jones Act requirements.”


Meanwhile, Alaska is also focusing on the Jones Act and is expected to introduce a similar reform resolution into its state legislature next year.