Don’t fly; go by shipping container. Rates are at all time lows!
“They have already hit zero,” said Charles de Trenck, a broker at Transport Trackers in Hong Kong. “We have seen trade activity fall off a cliff. Asia-Europe is an unmitigated disaster.”
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.
Exports from Asia are down about 30% over a year ago. That means us Westerners aren’t buying their steel, shoes, and electronics.
Add to that the reports of the record-breaking foreclosure rate in the U.S. for the year just ended, and 2009 looks like it’s going to be a long year all over the world.