High-level Math

We were throwing out some old newspaper stories today when we stumbled upon this bit of speculative fantasy: “TraPac, where MOL calls, will achieve productivity of about 7,500 TEUs per acre this year without diminishing service to its customers. The average portwide productivity is about 4,000 TEUs per acre.

“Now it’s time for some high-level math. Los Angeles-Long Beach last year handled 13 million containers on about 3,000 acres of container terminal land, and service was generally poor. If the other 13 terminals fully implemented computer technology and increase their throughput to 7,500 TEUs per acre, the port complex will have an annual capacity of 22.5 million TEUs on its existing acreage.

“It gets even better. The two ports have expansion projects planned that, environmental challenges aside, could add another 500 acres. Multiply 3,500 acres by 7,500 TEUs per acre and the annual capacity increases to 26 million TEUs. That would mean Los Angeles-Long Beach could double its throughput capacity, accommodate the projected growth for the next 10 to 15 years, and increase longshore ranks even further …”

That was then, but this is now …and here’s some of the “high-level math” we stumbled upon in today’s issue of Bloomberg News:

“U.S. Stocks Plunge. S&P 500 heads for Worst Month Since 1938″

“Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) – U.S. stocks tumbled this week, driving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index toward the steepest monthly loss since 1938, on concern the global economy is sliding into a recession.

“Alcoa Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. retreated the most in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, losing more than 18 percent, as investors bet the financial crisis spread beyond the banks to industrial companies and computer makers. General Motors Corp. approached the lowest price since the 1950s, and Ford Motor Co. plunged 17 percent …”

“Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, probably dropped by the most in almost two decades as job losses mounted, stock prices sank and property values plummeted. Federal Reserve policy makers, meeting this week, are forecast to lower interest rates for a second time this month to try to thaw frozen credit markets and prevent a deepening recession.

“‘I don’t see how the consumer can do anything but retrench,’ Robert McTeer, former president of the Fed Bank in Dallas, said in an Oct. 24 Bloomberg Television interview. ‘If they all do it at the same time, it will really tank the economy.’”

[7,500 TEUs per acre and 26 million TEUs per year, huh? … to be purchased by a tanked economy?]