Hawai'i State News

Businesses, others continue to step up to support Maui wildfire relief efforts; state waives wharfage fee for cargo inbound to Kahului

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This story was updated at 1:26 p.m. Aug. 12.

Businesses, organizations and individuals throughout the Hawaiian Islands continue to step up to answer the call for help as firefighters on Maui continue to battle devastating wildfires.

Island Energy Services, a Hawai‘i-based fuels logistics and marketing business headquartered in Kapolei, O‘ahu, and several partners are shipping two 40-foot containers with more than 67,000 bottles of water to support the relief and recovery efforts on Maui, where at least 80 people had died because of the fires.

Lāhainā fire damage Aug. 8 along Honoapiʻilani Highway on Maui. (Photo by Cammy Clark/Big Island Now)

The group has teamed up with the American Red Cross to deliver the bottles of Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, with the aim of aiding individuals, families and communities as they recover from the wildfires.

“This collective effort stands as a testament to our commitment to offer on-the-ground assistance and clean drinking water in the face of this unprecedented crisis,” said Laura Krueger, director of external communications with BlueTriton Brands, one of Island Energy’s partners in the effort.

The team of business partners includes Island Energy Services, Odyssey Logistics and BlueTriton Brands, a producer of Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water. The partnership has mobilized efforts for the initial delivery and the resources necessary to provide additional bottled water donations in the coming weeks.


“The Red Cross is working around the clock to deliver help to those impacted by the wildfires,” said Diane Peters-Nguyen, CEO of the American Red Cross, Pacific Islands Region.

Island Energy Services earlier announced its commitment to supporting response and recovery efforts and has pledged to match customer donations on a dollar for dollar match up to $50,000 via its Texaco network through the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.

For more information about the Maui Strong fund, click here.

United Public Workers AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO is also assisting in relief efforts. The union chapter was able to fill six large shipping containers and nearly 100 pallets of non-perishable donations collected through its Maui Wildfire Relief Effort.

The items will be shipped to Maui and flown via air cargo courtesy of Aloha Air Cargo and Kamaka Air Cargo and distributed by Maui County.


UPW members and the general public participated in the donation drive on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi and the Big Island. A steady stream of cars filled with water, diapers, canned food and clothing flowed through the parking lots of UPW headquarters on each island starting at 6 a.m. Aug. 11.

“The support from the community has been absolutely incredible and uplifting,” said United Public Workers AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO State Director Kalani Werner. “In addition to individual contributions, we received donations from Home Depot, Marine Life Studies, HGEA, AFSCME, SAG-AFTRA and Island Schools.”

Volunteers assisted with the collection efforts, including a woman on vacation in Hawaiʻi who gave up her sightseeing to help collect and sort donations.   

Members of the United Public Workers AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO and the general public participated Aug. 11 in a donation drive on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi and the Big Island in support of wildfire relief efforts on Maui. (Courtesy of United Public Workers AFSCME, Local 646, AFL-CIO)

The state is making it easier to get much needed items to the communities devastated by the wildfires.

Effective through Sept. 10, the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation is waiving wharfage charges for cargo inbound to Maui’s Kahului Harbor to support the relief efforts.


“We have to offer any help we can at this time for the people of Maui,” said Ed Sniffen, director of the state Transportation Department. “This will lessen the burden on shipping necessities to many who now have nothing. And we will continue to look at ways we can help the people of Lāhainā and West Maui as we move forward.”

Wharfage will be waived for the following cargo types:

  • Automobiles, in containers.
  • Automobile, other.
  • Island agricultural products.
  • Vehicles.
  • Shipping device loaded, 45 feet.
  • Shipping device loaded, 40 feet.
  • Shipping device loaded, 24 feet.
  • Shipping device loaded, 20 feet.
  • Shipping device loaded, Other.
  • Island agricultural products, shipping device loaded, 40 feet.
  • Island agricultural products, shipping device loaded, 20 feet.
  • Island agricultural products, shipping device loaded, Other.
  • Diesel.
  • Fuel.
  • Gasoline.

A waiver will be granted upon receipt of a wharfage report accompanied by documentation confirming wharfage fees were not charged by a shipping company to a customer for the specified cargo.

Additional instructions are posted on the state harbors website.

Additionally, throughout the duration of Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green’s third emergency proclamation, when berth space is available, the Transportation Department will waive port entry and dockage for vessels displaced from small boat harbors on Maui. Other rules and fees will apply and arrangements for port entry should be made through the respective harbors district office through an agent.

The state Department of Transportation also is shutting down Kahului Airport Runway 523 to accommodate cargo operations, assisting in airlifting goods and necessities to Maui.

The closure of the short runway will not affect any commercial flights, but will have an impact on the general aviation community. The department will prioritize commercial flights.

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