Marketplace Scratch Pad

Ships going nowhere

Scott Jagow May 8, 2009

This falls into the picture-says-a-thousand-words category. The International Economy magazine features a Google Earth photo that makes the coastline of one of the world’s busiest ports look like a parking lot. It’s not a good sign for world trade.

From the magazine:

Singapore saw its year-over-year volume drop by 19.6 percent in January 2009, followed by a 19.8 percent drop in February. As of mid-March 2009, 11.3 percent of the world’s shipping capacity, or some 484 ships, sat idle, a record.

The story? The worldwide economic downturn has led to a steep drop in global trade and exports–which has led to the largest morning coffee klatch of commercial ship captains in the history of mankind.

The 405 freeway looks like this all the time. Oceans? Not so much.

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