12% of the world's capacity for moving goods via sea is sitting idle.
Do you have any idea how much stuff twelve percent of shipping represents? There are close to 500 ships sitting in the water, doing nothing but rusting--and it's going to get worse before it gets better because new ships are still being built.
Some experts believe the ratio of container ships sitting idle could rise to 25 per cent within two years in an extraordinary downturn that shipping giant Maersk has called a 'crisis of historic dimensions'. Last month the company reported its first half-year loss in its 105-year history."In 2011 the shipyards will simply run out of ships to build." There won't be any new orders, not with more than 12% of cargo ships sitting idle. Once the last ship is built, the people building ships are out of their jobs.
None of this is compatible with the news of economic recovery that the media is touting: if the stuff isn't moving, the money isn't moving either.
Recall, if you will, that on 9/11/01 (and for about a day afterwards) all the airplanes in the US sat idle. That was about 36 hours of total inactivity; it put most of the airlines into bankruptcy and caused a hell of a lot of economic carnage. (Including my job as a technical writer.)
What will having 1/8th of the world's cargo ships sitting idle do? And if the projections are right, it'll be 1/4 of the total by 2011; what will that mean?
This does not mean Americans will be starving by the millions; we're the richest country on the planet and we grow our own food. But it does mean that we are looking right down the barrel of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.
In Fungus #1362 I talked about this. That was February of this year; and that was based only on cars not moving. Now we see how bad things really are.
Follow this link to the news article, and guess what?
The decline is driven by a steep drop in containerized imports, which are down more than 12 percent this year in Long Beach-Los Angeles, the nation's largest international trade gateway.Emphasis added.
Make note of the given figure: 12%. Coincidence?