International shipping plunge to near nothing

By Megan McArdle

That's right:  it is now basically free to ship your goods from some ports:

Shipping journal Lloyd's List said brokers in Singapore are now waiving fees for containers travelling from South China, charging only for the minimal "bunker" costs. Container fees from North Asia have dropped $200, taking them below operating cost.

Industry sources said they have never seen rates fall so low. "This is a whole new ball game," said one trader.

This is, of course, a reflection of international trade, which has cratered.  China's economic growth, and its political stability, would seem to be in real danger.


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/01/international-shipping-plunge-to-near-nothing/4581/