Saturday, September 19, 2009

"World trade has collapsed... shipping lines have become graveyard archipelagos"

A few days ago, I pointed to a London Daily Mail article ("The Incredible Ghost Fleet Off The Coast Of Singapore") spotlighting the scores of cargo ships rusting -- unused -- in the Singapore Strait. Bulk cargo ships are the the most visible casualties of the collapse in world trade.

Tyler at Zero Hedge did me one better, using VesselTracker to graphically illustrate the carnage in world trade. I've included a sample of the overbuilding debacle, below. In each diagram, green represents an operating ship. Red denotes a ship that is currently unused.

The ghost fleet in the Singapore Strait, photographed by The Daily Mail, looks like this:

Bosporus, the trade gateway between Russia and the rest of the world, is "orders of magnitude worse" than Singapore:

Qinhungdao (the Chinese coast):

Durden concludes, "The bottom line: world trade has collapsed, shipping lines, once flourishing, have become graveyard archipelagos populated by rusting ship skeletons. Yet all of this is beyond the land, and thus far from sight. Of course, who needs trade when you have a speculative market trading in its own bubble, hitting yearly highs day after day, thanks only and exclusively to the Chairman's printing press. It is a pity these ships can not sail in the sea of hundred dollar bills that is being created each and every day at the Federal Reserve, whose only use these days it seems is to buy junker stocks and to feed the algos that lift whatever offers are stupid enough to float in the equity market."

Linked by: Ed Driscoll. Thanks!

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