Tyler Durdan has an interesting article on ZeroHedge that I found interesting regarding the extremely large number of ships sitting idle worldwide. His birdseye view pics courtesy of The Daily Mail & Google Maps give a strong visual emphasis on the size of the problem.
Thousands Of Rusting Ship Hulls Are A Fitting Tribute To The Speculative Market BubbleSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/16/2009 13:08 -0500
The Daily Mail recently made waves with a photo exposing what it called the "ghost fleet of the recession" where hundreds of ships were shown on anchor off the straits of Singapore, doing nothing except rusting: a tribute to the unprecedented collapse in world trade, the bulk of which is seaborne, and the huge amount of excess slack in shipping.
Zero Hedge decided to probe this idea further, and for that we took advantage of the very useful real time ship tracker functionality provided by vesseltracker.com (any reader who has Google Earth can easily replicate these results using the following data file).
First we wanted to show how traditionally functioning critical routes are still heavily trafficked, as can be seen by the large amount of green highlights in the following snapshots (green indicates operating ship, red denotes a ship out of spot/charter and currently unused).
He goes on to give a few other examples of trade routes operating normally, then goes on to document some of the areas with massive numbers of idle ships around the world:
Yet where it gets interesting is when one scours for comparable packets of inactivity as that captured by the Daily Mail. As a first example of just how bad it really is, we recreate the image of the Singapore Strait that is shown on the picture at the top:
What is surprising is how prevalent this pattern is around the globe. Some comparable areas we discovered were the following:
Coast of Britain:
Qinhungdao (Chinese coast) - note the pattern that allows any active ships to actually enter the harbor. This is probably not a good indication of the Baltic Dry Index to going up any time soon.
He gives several other similar examples you can check out at his site linked to above and continues on with:
All in all I think he's done an excellent job of giving striking visual evidence of the major contraction in world trade that continues on despite whatever "green shoots" or "V shaped recovery" is allegedly underway.
Dubai: the gateway to the middle east is essentially closed. All that expensive oil, and nobody is transporting it...At least if you look closely you can see some very nice man made islands, that are the only remnants of the great Dubai experiment in recreating the US credit/real estate bubble:Most shocking is the situation around the Bosporus: the transit corridor between Russia and the rest of the world is orders of magnitude worse than even the Singapore case.
As for our own back yard, this is the situation in the Gulf of Mexico: a sea of red. One wonders how many of these ships are merely filled with crude, happily waiting for oil to hit $145 one more time.
The bottom line: world trade has collapsed, shipping lines, once flourishing, have become graveyard archipelagos populated by rusting ship skeletons. Yet all of this is beyond the land, and thus far from sight. Of course, ...
Disclosure: No positions