The Ships are Sailing!
- Aug 17, 2017
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
For what seems like a lifetime, global shipping has been adrift. Swamped by the collapse of trade in 2008, seaborne shipments slowly gained steam over the following six years. Money was tight through this time, as the pre-recession heyday led to a long lineup of launchings that continued well beyond the crash. Vessel rates plunged, and price indexes for the industry remain low. Sounds very similar to the economy's path. Is this the 'new normal' for maritime commerce?
Actually, conditions were brightening into 2014; it really looked like finally things were turning around. Then, at that very moment, in synch with the collapse of commodity prices at the mid-point of that year, shipping swooned again. One setback is enough, but a second can be debilitating - or worse. The Global Container Throughput Index went into a
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