A Painful Route Canal

The real problems Americans are facing – like unemployment, costly medical expenses, bankruptcies, and foreclosures, for example – no longer appear in mainstream media stories because of the emphasis, and ink, being devoted to covering the Panama Canal expansion project.

We’re being told by all the loud voices that by 2014 all links in our East Coast and Gulf Coast transportation supply chain must be prepared for the tremendous influx of goods coming through the new and improved (and expensive) canal on the leviathans now being built in foreign shipyards.

If the major networks and newspapers are saying so, and there are no contradictory stories, it must be true. Right? Wrong.

The real problem is that issues that give the lie to the Panama Canal promoters are dutifully kept under wraps. The truth is that information that does not support the garbage being fed to Americans is being pushed aside. What do you suppose attentive folks would think about the Canal project if the following stories were carried alongside the Panama Canal reports:

– Miami & London, May 24, 2012 – “The tide has begun to turn on the flow of manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to China and other low-cost countries, according to a new study from The Hackett Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HCKT).

“According to published reports, many large companies have made public plans to reshore portions of their manufacturing to the U.S. over the past two years, including Caterpillar, Nissan, NCR, Yamaha, Ford, and Electrolux. Earlier this year, both Boeing and GE said they were committed to moving parts of their offshore manufacturing capabilities back to the U.S.” –

– The Journal of Commerce Online, June 5, 2012 – “Alphaliner: Most Container Lines to See Second Quarter losses” – “The majority of ocean container carriers will lose money in the second quarter following their failure to fully implement rate hikes in May and June, Alphaliner says … According to the analyst, the figures were the worst for the industry since 2009.” –

– The Journal of Commerce Online, June 5, 2012 – “Global Port Tracker Forecasts Deeper European Recession” – “The slowdown in container volumes handled by ports in northern Europe indicates the continent may be slipping into a deeper recession than anticipated, according to the latest North Europe Global Port Tracker.

“‘There is little, if any, growth compared to 2011, and by the end of the third quarter we are predicting volumes to begin to enter a more serious downturn,’ said Ben Hackett, of Hackett Associates …

“The report said European trade would be hit even harder than expected if this trend continues.” –

– The Journal of Commerce Online, June 5, 2012 – “US Container Imports Fell 2 Percent in April” – “U.S. containerized imports in April fell 2 percent from a year earlier as slowing economic growth reduced demand for consumer goods such as footwear and clothing …

“‘It appears retailers are keeping inventories of footwear and apparel ultra lean as the economy loses momentum and employers reduce hiring,’ said Journal of Commerce Economist Mario O. Moreno.” –

– The Journal of Commerce Online, June 21, 2012 – “Air France-KLM Plans Major Layoffs by 2013” – “Air France-KLM outlined its plans to lay off more than 5,000 of its French work force by the end of 2013 in a bid to cut costs by $ 2.5 billion a year and return to profitability …

“Air France Cargo is currently reducing its exposure to the weakening Chinese market – it stopped freighter service to Shanghai – and is refocusing on West Africa, the Indian Ocean, North America, Mexico and Japan.” –

– The Journal of Commerce Online, June 25, 2012 – “OOCL Suspends Trans-Atlantic Shuttle” – “OOCL said it is suspending until further notice the Atlantic Express Shuttle that it operates in a vessel-sharing alliance with Hapag-Lloyd between Hamburg, Antwerp and New York … Many carriers have added capacity to the trans-Atlantic since the beginning of the year, which has led to overcapacity at a time when European demand for U.S. exports is depressed by recession.” –

After reading the above reports could there be the slightest doubt that the world’s economy is continuing its steady decline, and that there is no possibility of a turnaround of any kind? And is there any justification for maritime and transportation con-men to be advocating the expenditure of billions of dollars for U.S. port expansion and dredging projects as a result of the widening of the Panama Canal? Now hear this:

– Port Technology, March 26, 2012 – “SPA awards $ 43 million contract for additional work at new Charleston terminal.” –

– Port Technology, June 27, 2012 – “New GPA Chairman makes $ 652 million Savannah Harbor Expansion Project his top priority.” –

– Port Technology, June 27, 2012 – “Congressman unveils bill to prepare 2,320-mile Mississippi River waterway for Panama Canal Expansion.” –

Guess who’ll be asked to come up with all this money? That’s right. You, the American taxpayer. Giant container ships delivering Chinese goods will be non-existent. Only the giant scam is reality. Unemployed folks will have taken the bait, however, and the con-men will have taken their cut.