Young Brothers (YB) is Hawaiʻi’s foremost interisland freight handling and transportation company. We serve individuals and businesses alike, moving goods by barge among the Hawaiian Islands. We are the only regularly scheduled common carrier authorized by the State of Hawaii to transport your goods over water from one island to another.

We can handle almost any shipment. Our fleet of eight barges has a combined capacity of over 60,000 tons, and our equipment can accommodate a range of capacity needs. From food and other refrigerated cargo, to building materials, equipment, and cars, we have a solution for every type of cargo.

We offer fast, frequent, and reliable service to the following ports: Nāwiliwili on Kauaʻi, Kahului on Maui, Kaunakakai on Molokaʻi, Kaumalapau on Lānaʻi, Honolulu on Oʻahu, and Hilo and Kawaihae on the Island of Hawai’i. Most routes are serviced at least twice a week by overnight sailings.

From reservation to pickup, our team of approximately 360 employees works day and night to move your goods quickly, securely, and seamlessly across the Hawaiian Islands. That’s what makes Young Brothers your neighbor island partner.

Young Brothers started more than a century ago, in the earliest days of the Territory of Hawaiʻi. Since that time, Hawaiʻi has seen many changes. One thing that’s remained is the need for a reliable and cost-effective way to transport goods between the islands.

Our history stretches back to the year 1900, when the brothers Herb and William Young boarded a San Francisco schooner bound for Honolulu. Growing up in a maritime family in San Diego, the brothers were comfortable around the ocean. Within a year, they had set up a small but growing “bumboat” business, ferrying passengers and provisions around Honolulu Harbor. A third brother Jack soon joined them in Hawaiʻi.

Picture1Thirteen years later the firm was incorporated as Young Brothers, and expanded to provide ocean towing, rescue service and barge transportation between the islands. It was around this time that the pineapple industry began to take off. Growers needed a way to haul the fruit from Molokaʻi to Honolulu for canning, and Young Brothers landed the contract. This marked the company’s entry into the inter-island shipping business.

For a time, Young Brothers offered both harbor support and shipping services. To separate harbor operations and charter activities from Young Brothers’ inter-island freight operations, Hawaiian Tug & Barge was formed in 1961 as a sister company.

In 1999, the Seattle-based Saltchuk Resources, Inc. acquired Young Brothers and selected assets of Hawaiian Tug & Barge. Saltchuk is the parent company of Foss Maritime. In 2014, Hawaiian Tug & Barge (HTB) was rebranded and incorporated into the Foss Maritime fleet, and Young Brothers remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of Foss.


Young Brothers’ Safety Management System has been certified by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) as being in compliance with the International Safety Management Code (ISM) and the American Waterways Operators (AWO) Responsible Carrier Program. We are also certified by ABS as an ISO 9001 company for quality management.

Download: Young Brothers: 100 Years of Service (PDF)

Our mission is to provide the best inter-island freight handling and transportation services, through our involved, dedicated, and skilled people, delivering excellent customer service, in order to achieve long-term profitability and success.

Our current vessel fleet includes the following barges and tugs:


11,700-ton capacity barge, with open deck

Ho‘omaka Hou
11,700-ton capacity barge, with open deck

11,700-ton capacity barge, with open deck

11,700-ton capacity barge, with open deck

7,300-ton capacity barge, with open deck and covered house

KRS 286-6
6,330-ton capacity barge, with open deck

AMS 250
4,168-ton capacity barge, with open deck

Open deck

5,600-ton or 500 automobile capacity covered, multi-deck roll-on/roll-off barge



Kāpena Jack Young
6,000-horsepower towing tug

Kāpena Raymond Alapa’i
6,000-horsepower towing tug

Kāpena George Panui
6,000-horsepower towing tug

Kāpena Bob Purdy
6,000-horsepower towing tug

Hoku Loa
4,000-horsepower towing tug


Mount Drum
5,000-horsepower towing tug

Mount Baker
5,000-horsepower towing tug

3,000-horsepower harbor tug

4,400-horsepower harbor tug

3,200-horsepower harbor tug

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