Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Follow The Money (Or Lack There-Of)

In the first quarter of this year, container shippers were worrying about a shortage of containers. Global trade and the weak dollar had boosted shipping to levels beyond their capacity.

What a difference 6 months makes. Eivind Kolding, Chief Executive of shipping giant Maersk declared last week that his company will do whatever it takes to keep their share of the transportation markets. This is in the face of container rates that have dropped over 70% on some routes in the last 12 months.

Companies like Maersk, Cosco, Evergreen and their competitors are at the very front of gloabl trade. Unlike the silent movement of monies, they carry the actual tangible items that make up the international economy. I liken them to a thermometer under the tongue of the world's trade bodies, they don't tell you exactly what's going on but they can give a pretty good indication of the health therin.

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