To effectively improve and manage a commercial harbors system that facilitates safe and efficient operations of commercial cargo, passenger, fishing, and other commercial maritime-related services and support activities within the State of Hawaii and which serves to sustain and enhance the State’s economic prosperity and quality of life.


The Harbors Division is responsible to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain State facilities in all modes of water transportation.  Coordination with other State, County, and Federal programs is maintained in order to achieve the objective.  The Division currently provides, operates, and maintains ten (10) commercial harbors.


The statewide harbors system consists of ten (10) commercial harbors located at Honolulu, Kalaeloa Barbers Point, Hilo, Kawaihae, Kahului, Hana, Kaunakakai, Kaumalapau, Nawiliwili, and Port Allen.  In 2008, Hana Harbor was transferred from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to the Harbors Division.  In 2009, management and operations of Kewalo Basin was transferred from the Harbors Division to the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA).

The major activities of the harbors program are to maintain, repair and operate the ten commercial harbors which comprise the statewide harbors system, plan, design and construct harbor facilities, provide program planning and administrative support; manage vessel traffic into, within, and out of harbor facilities; provide for and manage the efficient utilization of harbor facilities and lands, and maintain offices and facilities for the conduct of maritime business with the public.

As a self sufficient enterprise, revenues for the operation, maintenance and capital improvements program of the Water Transportation Facilities and Services Program are derived from wharfage, rentals, dockage, port entry fees, mooring charges, demurrage, cleaning and other harbor fees and charges.  Wharfage and rentals are the largest sources of revenues.

The activities of this program interrelate with other public and private sectors.  Federal government agencies include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which administers and participates in the planning, construction, and maintenance of harbor navigational improvements.  The Federal Maritime Commission regulates ports and marine terminal operators engaged in United States’ ocean borne commerce and receives and reviews tariff filings.  The U.S. Coast Guard oversees maritime security at the commercial harbors and is also involved in the enforcement of safety and oil pollution regulations within harbor complexes of the State.  The U.S. Treasury Department inspects foreign goods to insure a proper assessment of duty.  Goods are also inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to safeguard the State against the introduction of biological pests and invasive species.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection monitors the flow of foreign people and goods through state ports.  The Environmental Protection Agency is involved with water quality standards.  State agencies are involved in coastal zone areas, land and water use, economic development, environmental regulations and safety regulations.  The counties are involved in matters including zoning and permits. The private sector provides shipping services, stevedoring, warehousing, tug services, maintenance, ship chandlery and repair, distribution and other functions.  One of the main objectives of the statewide harbors program is to provide adequate maritime facilities to accommodate the needs of the commercial shipping industry and the public.