S-w-e-e-t H-e-a-r-t D-e-a-l-s

Some headlines that are not seen by those who read U.S. newspapers:

– CSCL posts $ 250m loss in first nine months – CHINA Shipping Container Line has seen its profit dive almost $ 250m in the nine months of the year due to overcapacity, lower volumes and lower freight rates.
– COSCO takes another big hit – Third quarter net loss of $ 330m puts China’s largest shipping company $ 755m in red.
– UPS Slashes Asia Capacity 10 Percent.
– Intra-Asia Ocean Carrier’s Profit Falls 40.5 Percent.
– Asia Exports Slide at NYK Line.
– Alphaliner Says Some Asia-Europe Rates Below Zero.
– CP Profit Falls 5.3 Percent as Intermodal Shrinks.
– Japanese Ship Orders Fall 77.1 Percent.
– Shippers See Some Port Calls Skipped, Cargo Rolled.
– Star Reefers Loss Widens to $ 14.1 Million.
– Hong Kong Freight Tumbles 6.1 Percent.
– Port of Seattle Imports Plunge 22.6 Percent.
– Container Corp. of India Profit Down 16 Percent.
– Toy Imports Drop 9 Percent in September – Marks eigth straight month of year-over-year decline.
– Marseilles Container Traffic Falls 6 Percent.
– China Shipping Loses $ 149 Million as Rates Tumble.
– Falling Revenue Cuts Lufthansa Cargo Profit 57 Percent.
– Heartland Express Profit Drops 15.8 Percent.
– China labour costs rose 22pc last year, depressing struggling exports.

A lousy deal all around. Right? Nevertheless, here’s the kind of baloney U.S. readers are being fed:

From “gCaptain” we read: “Although the system that is employed is nearly flawless [??], there are still several issues that are being addressed by the local Port Authority of New York/New Jersey and elected officials from both states. Currently, New York Harbor is dredged to handle vessels with up to a 45-foot draft. As economies of scale are being maximized [whatever that’s supposed to mean], vessels are getting larger with deeper drafts, and are approaching the 45-foot limit. The Port Authority has plans to dredge current channels to 50 feet to accommodate the larger vessels. With the completion of the New Panama Canal expected in 2014 many East Coast ports are scrambling to obtain new infrastructure large enough to handle the influx of these colossal ships. The Panama Canal is expecting to double its traffic once the new docks are completed. The ‘New Panamax’ size for vessels will be 1,200 feet long, 160.7 feet wide, and 49.9 feet deep. An additional restriction is that vessels must have less than a 190-foot air draft. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is expecting container ships that can carry up to 12,000 TEUs.

“Another major obstacle for the Port of New York/New Jersey is the limited air draft of the Bayonne Bridge … The Port Authority has announced plans to construct a span over the existing bridge increasing the height of the air draft to 215 feet … and the total cost is expected to reach over $ 3 billion upon completion of the bridge …

“With industry professionals and local and state politicians actively addressing the hurdles that face the Port of New York/New Jersey, the continued growth of the port is ensured, as well as the economic and national security issues of the surrounding region.” –

The above was excerpted from an article appearing in “gCaptain” on October 25, 2011 and it was submitted by a 2005 graduate of one of our Merchant Marine academies. That individual hasn’t been around for very long, obviously, and certainly hasn’t been schooled in economics, otherwise he (or she) would know enough not to use the word “flawless” when referring to the Port of New York/New Jersey. And he (or she) would certainly have a better understanding of the world’s economic problems, a sampling of which has been given above.

The reason those “colossal ships” aren’t being sent to the Port of New York/New Jersey right now is because the New Panama Canal can’t accommodate them. Right? It has nothing to do with the fact that Americans are so desperate – and broke – that there’s no demand for those ships carrying 12,000 TEUs. Right? Right. The author of the garbage above isn’t the only one not “schooled in economics”. Unschooled American sheeple will swallow anything the elite feeds them.

“Industry professionals”? Is the author referring to Rodolfo Sabonge (Senor Sponge) from the ACP? And those “local and state politicians”? Well, let’s not get into that. Suffice it to say that anytime “local and state politicians” get into the act, their own wallets seem to get fatter and fatter.

The “economic and national security issues” the writer has in mind are the biggest jokes of all. This country is up to its neck in disastrous economic un-security issues, and to be completely ignorant of that truth (or pretend not to know) is inexcusable.

The “new infrastructure” needed by the Port of New York/New Jersey may be needed because of deterioration and a rapidly declining volume, but it’s not needed because a “New Panama Canal” will be directing more TEUs northward. The people are broke. They’re unemployed. They’re destitute. Their desperation is on display in New York and in thousands of locations around the world in what is being called “Occupy Wall Street”- with the most noticeable demonstration being held under the very noses of those “local and state politicians” who are pushing for billions of taxpayer dollars for their dredging and port expansion projects.

Can you spell “S-w-e-e-t H-e-a-r-t D-e-a-l-s”, yet? Even Senor Sponge is getting into the act. Do you suppose he’s asking the poor folks in Panama to fund that canal project? If anything, Panama is a step or two below third-world status. The billions of dollars needed for that canal project – as well as the ancillary sweetheart deals – will be wrenched from whatever is left in the pockets of U.S. taxpayers.

Panama is a tax haven for the rich, remember. Y’know – that 1% you’ve been reading about??