‘Shipping Lines Sail Uncertain Seas’

Here is sobering piece from the WSJ that covers a subject that actually has some bearing on the well being of individuals in the developing world.  Truth About Trade & Technology has reproduced in full a WSJ article about the drop in the cost of shipping goods around the world.  This is good news for those agencies that are moving medical equipment, food, etc to countries that need it but the article also points out the shipping lines are dropping routes and cutting back on shipment frequency.  Definitely worth a read for you Logs out there.  From the article:

Last year, the basic price of shipping a large container of goods from Asia to Europe, the world’s busiest route, was $2,800. This week, with demand plunging amid a worsening economy, that price was an unprofitable $700.

That rate is “unsustainable,” says Eivind Kolding, chief executive of Copenhagen-based A.P. Moller Maersk AS, the world’s biggest shipping company by sales. The industry would be crippled if that price doesn’t rise soon, he says.

Hit by the global economic downturn and a financial meltdown that promises an even sharper drop in once-hot trade flows, container-shipping companies are cutting routes and capacity to stem a sudden flow of red ink.

Weak global demand and a capacity glut are sinking shipping rates.

Read on…

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