FAQs

Service and Transit

Is any special documentation required for shipping to Hawaii?
Within the United States, most over-water shipping is not very common and is over very short distances. It is also not with ships the size of those used to Hawaii. Many people treat shipping to Hawaii the same as they would any international transport. For this reason, it is often assumed that special documentation is required. However, Hawaii freight moves just like any domestic shipping would. The only documents required are the standard domestic Bill of Lading for non-hazardous shipments.
How do I get freight from my business to Hawaii?
Most of the freight to Hawaii is loaded into large containers on the West Coast. The containers are placed on a ship. Once they arrive in Hawaii, the containers are then unloaded and the shipments delivered locally by truck. Aloha Freight can pickup freight directly from your business on the mainland, take it to our facility near Los Angeles, and provide the delivery directly to your customer in Hawaii. You may also arrange to have the shipment delivered directly to Aloha Freight by a truck carrier of your choice, and we will handle the rest of the shipping. For pickup by Aloha Freight, please call the closest number to you listed on our Locations page, or call (888) SHIP ALOHA (744-7256).
When will my shipment arrive?
Ships depart Los Angeles on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. These westbound ships arrive in Honolulu on the following Sunday and Wednesday nights respectively. Freight is normally delivered the following afternoon or the day after that. Shipments destined to the neighbor islands is transferred to another ship or barge and are delivered approximately 9-12 days after sailing. For shipments that move eastbound from Hawaii to Los Angeles, freight made available to our Honolulu terminal by 4pm on Tuesday will sail out on Friday and will be available in Los Angeles 10 days later. Click here for a Service Matrix.
How much freight can fit in a container?
Containers vary in size and the volume they will hold. Shipping to Hawaii allows for 20', 40' and 45' containers. Aloha Freight mainly ships in 40' and 45' containers. For a list of all the containers and their volume, please click here.
Can Aloha Freight handle Hazardous Material shipments?

Yes, Aloha Freight is trained and licensed to handle and ship most Hazardous Material shipments as defined by the Department of Transportation. There are some classes of Explosives and Radioactive cargo that we cannot handle. Hazardous shipments by ocean to or from Hawaii are domestic shipments and are primarily governed by the regulations found in CFR49. Shippers must provide all relevant Hazardous Material paperwork and markings on freight in compliance with CFR49 regulations.

Aloha Freight and the steamship lines have an earlier cut-off for Hazardous Material shipments due to the additional processing required. Hazardous Material shipments must be received 2 days before the sailing (3 days for any Explosives). Please be aware that CFR49 regulations regarding ocean transport of Hazardous Materials are much more stringent than transport by road or by rail, so be advised that sailing delays may occur due to space or compatibility issues.

All hazardous material shipments are subject to additional handling charges. Please note that all Flammable (Class 3) and Combustible shipments must include the flashpoint with the proper shipping description on the paperwork. This is also true if the subsidiary class is Flammable. All Explosives shipments (Class 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 and 1.6) are subject to a higher HazMat fee than most other shipments. Aloha Freight is not authorized to handle Class 1.1 and 1.2 Explosives shipments.

Does Aloha Freight have special handling requirements for shipments, such as items like glass, slabs or personal effects?
Aloha Freight handles shipments of all sorts of materials. Some of them require special handling or packaging and have limited insurance values. Aloha Freight will always take the most care in handling your shipment, but it is always the responsibility of the person shipping items to ensure they are packaged properly to protect from damage. Here are some specific guidelines and limitations.
Glass and slab (such as stone, marble, granite) are fragile and in large quantities are heavy, easy to tip, and dangerous to handle. With glass or slab, our liability is limited to $.50 per pound. Due to the nature of these shipments, we require that you follow the packing guidelines posted here.
Personal effects are shipments from or to an individual or consumer (non-business). They have many different items and products mixed in a shipment, and are often used items. These shipments are deemed by us to be used and we are not aware of the actual condition or contents within the packaging or the manner in which they are packed. Packaging care must be taken by the originator to minimize damage from handling, temperature and weather. Our liability is limited to $.10 per pound.
New furniture is packaged from the manufacturer. It should be well protected, in boxes or crates, and clearly marked with any orientation requirements. Bagged furniture must be double wrapped with plastic sheet and cardboard protectors on corners at a minimum. Our liability on new furniture is limited to $5.00 per pound. Used furniture is considered the same as personal effects, noted above.
Eastbound shipments from Kauai, Hawaii or Maui will likely move to Oahu on barge. The items must be well protected from weather, especially water damage. It is the responsibility of the person shipping the items to make sure their freight is adequately protected. Aloha Freight is not insured to handle shipments of high value such as artwork and statues, coins, collectibles, etc.
What happens if my freight is delivered damaged or short?
Aloha Freight takes extraordinary precautions to ensure that your freight is delivered intact with no damages or shortages. Material can get damaged unfortunately. Often it is due to the overland transportation and not Aloha Freight's ocean transport. We make notations when we receive freight from another carrier damaged and we usually take pictures as well. If freight is delivered to a customer damaged, you have the right to file a claim for reimbursement. A request for an inspection is required for all damaged material. The request must be made within 15 days of delivery. A written claim for damage or shortage must be made within 9 months of delivery. These requirements have been industry standards for years and many carriers are actually more restrictive. More detailed information can be found in our published tariffs. Please contact your local Aloha Freight office or sales person for an inspection request. Claim forms can be found here on our website. If freight is damaged or lost while in Aloha Freight's possession, our limit of liability is the full landed invoice cost of the goods damaged or lost, not to exceed $20 per pound and subject to any NMFC limitations.
Does Aloha Freight value their customers' privacy while on the website?
Yes, we do. Aloha Freight does not use our customer list or any other customer information for any purpose other than our own internal use. Further, we do not monitor our customers use on-line except to record the date and time of entry into our secured tracing area. We do not use any cookies on our website. We have carefully designed our site for your security. No information is taken from you except the logon name you enter. Although it may be an inconvenience for you at times, we only save your credit card information if you request it and we always use encryption any time credit card info is saved or exchanged with the bank. There is little risk of your personal data getting into the wrong hands. If you have any questions or comments regarding our policy, please direct inquiries to the webmaster.
How can I get a copy of Aloha Freight's Bill of Lading for shipment or a Credit Application?
A link to several online forms is on our customer service page. You may click here to go to the Forms page.
Can I track a shipment on-line, from the Aloha Freight website?
Certainly. Basic shipment status information is available on our Customer Portal page. If you require more in-depth, detailed information, you can view that information by registering with a specific user name and password. This allows you access to company specific shipment information, charges, rate quotes, viewing Proof of Delivery documents, etc. Please contact your sales person or email sales to be registered.
Can I drop freight off at Aloha Freight and what are the hours?
Aloha Freight has a pickup service, but you can also drop freight off at our dock. Our receiving hours are Monday through Friday, 6am - 4pm. Please see our locations page for address and phone numbers.

Billing

How are rates and pricing calculated?
Most ocean costs are based on the size of the shipment. This is unlike overland transportation which uses a sometimes complicated "classification" system that calculates charges based on the weight of the shipment. All ocean charges from the port area to delivery in Hawaii are based on size, or cube, of the shipment. A rate is stated in dollars or cents per cubic foot. Pricing has several components. Ocean rate is for the ocean transportation. Wharfage is a fee assessed by the ports for each container. Terminal Handling Charge is assessed by the vessel operators to recover port security and container handling costs. Delivery rate is based on the specific destination on the islands. The State of Hawaii assesses an excise tax on the Hawaii portion of our charge. There is also a temporary fuel surcharge to help recover the exceptionally high cost of fuel currently.
What is cube?
Cube a term which means cubic foot or feet. The total cube of a shipment is the total cubic feet, or the volume in feet. Cubic feet are calculated by multiplying together the three dimensions (length, width and height) of each piece or shipping unit. If this measurement is in inches, you must convert this total to feet by dividing by 1728 (the volume in inches of one cubic foot). Click here for a cube calculation chart.
Are there packaging requirements?
Aloha Freight is a freight carrier, not a blanket-wrap or household goods carrier. Shipments will be loaded around other cartons, crates and palletized shipments. It is our policy to only accept cartoned freight, properly packaged for ocean transport. Contents should be protected to prevent damage from normal freight handling practices. Inner packaging should include, but not be limited to, styrofoam protectors on all edges and plastic or other material to prevent rubbing or scraping within the carton. Shippers should consult the National Motor Freight Classification guidelines for packaging requirements. If shipping glass, see our requirements further below.
What does the term prepaid mean?
Prepaid, contrary to its obvious meaning, does not mean that the shipment is paid in advance. As it relates to shipping, prepaid simply means that the originator, or shipper, of the freight is responsible for payment of all charges.
What does the term collect mean?
Collect, similar to the term prepaid described above, is different than its most obvious meaning. Collect simply means that the receiver, or consignee, of the freight is responsible for all charges. The term Driver Collect means that no credit will be extended and that the freight charges must be paid for at the time of delivery.
What is C.O.D?
This is a term meaning Collect On Delivery. A COD is the invoice or dollar value of the goods which a shipper wants to collect from the receiver upon delivery. This is usually used if the receiver does not have credit established with the shipper. The COD amount must be stated in a specific place and format on the original Bill of Lading before the carrier receives the goods for transport. Upon delivery and collection of the funds from the receiver, the funds are transferred to the shipper. There is a fee charged for this service.
How can I pay for my freight?
All payments for freight charges can be made by check, credit card, cash, or ACH electronic funds transfer. Companies can apply for a credit account. Our credit application can be filled out here. Not all companies may be approved for credit. Checks can be mailed to our Compton, CA location or given to our driver upon delivery. Credit card payments can be made on our website, in person, or by phone. If you do not have credit with Aloha, payment must be made before delivery. All shipments of personal effects must be paid for at origin. Credit card payments for invoices more than 15 days old will have a small convenience fee applied. COD amounts must be paid upon delivery with cash or certified funds unless another method is approved in advance. COD checks should be made payable to the shipper.
My company, or my customer, only wants to pay for part of the freight?
Many mainland customers will pay for the freight charges to their customer. However, the additional cost of shipping the distance to Hawaii is not part of their budget. The shipper will then pay the freight as far as the port and request the Hawaii company to pay the freight charges beyond the port. The term "prepaid to port/collect beyond" is very common. This is the term that they use and may be stated on the Bill of Lading.
Do I have to pay sales tax on items shipping to Hawaii?
California has a sales tax added to all purchases of material or product for use in California or used by a resident of California. There are exceptions to the tax in a few limited cases. Generally, items purchased in California by an out of state resident and shipped directly to Hawaii should qualify for the exception. The California Board of Equalization enforces tax collection in California. Please refer to the link below for more information. Aloha Freight can provide you with a copy of the delivery receipt if necessary to show delivery in Hawaii. The issue of paying a sales tax is between you and your customer/vendor. Counties have their own tax and they may not qualify for an exemption. Please be aware that all transportation related charges in Hawaii are subject to a Hawaii excise tax, which will appear on your invoice. Freight charges are not exempt from Hawaii excise tax.
https://www.boe.ca.gov/formspubs/pub101/