Off the coast of Singapore is a collection of ships larger than the U.S. and English navies just sitting idle, waiting out the recession. It’s a spectacular image, capturing our bruised global economy better than any we’ve see thus far.
The Daily Mail has pictures of the idled fleet, and the full story about the decline in the world’s trade business.
At this time last year one of the massive cargo ships carrying 80,000 tons of cargo would cost $50,000 a day. Now it’s just $5,500. The cost of an entire bulk freighter from China to the UK cost $300,000 in the summer of 2008. Now it costs just $10,000. The world could have 25% of its ships sitting idle in the next two years.
While the President says the economy has been pulled from the brink, and economists say the recession has ended, these ships floating in Asian seas are big reminder that we’re still far off from recovery.
Simon Parry of the Daily Mail: The tropical waters that lap the jungle shores of southern Malaysia could not be described as a paradisical shimmering turquoise. They are more of a dark, soupy green. They also carry a suspicious smell. Not that this is of any concern to the lone Indian face that has just peeped anxiously down at me from the rusting deck of a towering container ship; he is more disturbed by the fact that I may be a pirate, which, right now, on top of everything else, is the last thing he needs.
His appearance, in a peaked cap and uniform, seems rather odd; an officer without a crew. But there is something slightly odder about the vast distance between my jolly boat and his lofty position, which I can’t immediately put my finger on.
Then I have it – his 750ft-long merchant vessel is standing absurdly high in the water. The low waves don’t even bother the lowest mark on its Plimsoll line. It’s the same with all the ships parked here, and there are a lot of them. Close to 500. An armada of freighters with no cargo, no crew, and without a destination between them. Continue>
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