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Bill to standardize shipping rates for all US locations including Pacific areas

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

A 2-lbs package sent from Los Angeles to Hawai‘i costs $45.33, but the same shipment from Los Angeles to New York, essentially the same distance, is just $14.28.

Rep. Ed Case said such an "outrageous price" from a private shipping company categorizes shipping to Hawai‘i as an international shipment.

Consumers from Guam and the Nothern Marianas experience the same shipping rate discrepancies when ordering goods from online retailers.

Ed Case

Case has introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to end what he called “the exclusionary and discriminatory practices of private shipping services to Hawai‘i and the other non-contiguous parts of our country.” Case said Hawai‘i, located almost 2,500 miles off the West Coast, and like other non-48 states parts of our country, “depends on shipping more than many other locations in our country, importing well over 90 percent of our life necessities, yet people living in Hawai‘i have encountered three unfair shipping practices.”

“First, when ordering essentials online, we often learn that a particular online store or item doesn’t even ship to Hawai‘i at all. The Federal Trade Commission reviewed this issue and confirmed that ‘some companies . . . are unwilling to ship products to Alaska, Hawai‘i, Puerto Rico, and the other territories’,” the congressman from Hawaii said.

He said this exclusion prevents millions of Americans in the non-contiguous states from obtaining key products that should be available to them the same as any others.

“Second, as many of my constituents know, those who live in Hawai‘i are often denied free shipping options from online retailers. It is so painful when a website advertises free shipping and you fill up your shopping cart and input your address only for a red error message to pop up with the news that Hawai‘i, Alask, Guam and elsewhere are not included in the free shipping deal.

Case noted that when companies ship to Hawai‘i and other Pacific territories, the prices "bear no reasonable relationship to the distances involved."


"The cost to ship to and from anywhere in the United States depends on several factors, including the weight and size of your package and service class. However, according to the FTC, private shipping companies’ delivery options may cost considerably more for a destination in Alaska, Hawai‘i, Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories than for the contiguous states," he said.

Rep. James Moylan of Guam and Rep. Gregorio Sablan of the CNMI support the bill, noting that the islands' residents, who rely on off-shore products, are particularly vulnerable to the high costs of shipping.

The “Fair Shipping for Non-Contiguous Areas Act of 2023” includes prohibitions to address unfair shipping practices:

  • No private shipping service may exceed the shipping charge for the same product to and from a location in the contiguous United States as charged to a consumer product or producer good to the non- contiguous area of the United States; and

  • No private shipping service may exclude a non-contiguous area of the United States from its shipping policies; or a non-contiguous area of the United States from shipping to its location.

“It is hard to believe that over 60 years after becoming a state and over 120 years after becoming part of America, Hawai‘i is still treated as a foreign country,” said Case.

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