World Wide Woe

Here are some of today’s sad stories from … Elsewhere.

• From the Journal of Commerce: “Japan ship orders collapse”

• From the Shipping Gazette: “A.P. Moller-Maersk to drop investments”

• From TradeWinds: “Tsuji Heavy Industries goes under”

• From the American Shipper:
• “Game over for KB Toys”
• “Florida sinks Miami port tunnel project”

• From Fairplay: “IMF sees halved China growth”

• From YEHEY! Finance:
• “Philippine port operators jettison expansion amid global crisis”
• “Fed cuts rate to virtual zero, Europe braces for recession”

And here are some of today’s sad stories from … California.

• From the Journal of Commerce:
• “LAX, SFO cargo plunges”
• “Port of LA cuts 2009 budget as cargo traffic weakens”

• From Containerization International: “Long Beach inbound plunges 14% in November”

• From the American Shipper: “SoCal ports box volumes tumble”

Times are tough, alright, and worldwide reaction leaves no room for doubt and no room for optimism. But a story in today’s Los Angeles Times takes the cake:

“LOS ANGELES – Union dockworkers are finding there isn’t enough work to go around. Big cargo ships are joining the ranks of the unemployed. And yet, the people who run the nation’s largest container ports are convinced that now is the time to build for the future …

“The more than $ 2 billion in projects on their capital improvement plans, officials say, would employ thousands of regional workers … and it’s time to push them through … ”

[Is that gall or blissful ignorance? Is there a clearer example of the “corporate fanning of feathers” to be found anywhere? Or a clearer example of a taxpayer ripoff? Or is this more like the dozing driver whose foot is on the accelerator when his vehicle is heading for a concrete abutment?]