A Not-So-Rosy Economic Indicator

Via HotAir here’s a report on one aspect of the economy that people forget about: shipping

Here, on a sleepy stretch of shoreline at the far end of Asia, is surely the biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history. Their numbers are equivalent to the entire British and American navies combined; their tonnage is far greater. Container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers – all should be steaming fully laden between China, Britain, Europe and the US, stocking camera shops, PC Worlds and Argos depots ahead of the retail pandemonium of 2009. But their water has been stolen.

They are a powerful and tangible representation of the hurricanes that have been wrought by the global economic crisis; an iron curtain drawn along the coastline of the southern edge of Malaysia’s rural Johor state, 50 miles east of Singapore harbour.

I think there’s a lot of interesting information here, and an indication of how confident retailers are going forward…or rather how unconfident they are. I ship a lot of stuff, and it is getting hard to get space because the larger steamship companies have pulled so many vessels out of the rotations. It’s a mess.

3 Responses to “A Not-So-Rosy Economic Indicator”

  1. Gary from Jersey says:

    One of the car magazines I read said thousands of BMWs (sales down 25 percent in the US) and M-Bs are being shipped back to Germany. I figure that won’t help you much but it adds perspective to what looks like a bad long-term problem.

  2. nightfly says:

    But… but… Bernanke says the recession’s over! They wouldn’t never lie to us, would they, mister? *snif*

    Would they, mister?

  3. JeffS says:

    Ugh, that’s a VERY bad sign when the support industries are shutting down. It’s not unlike finding out the gas station has no fuel because the delivery company went bankrupt.

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