Home > Uncategorized > Ghost fleet dampens container port dreams

Ghost fleet dampens container port dreams

Harbor Commission candidate Dan Hauser may be tip-toeing around his true mission of laying out the Welcome mat for container ships in Humboldt Bay while painting himself green this election season, but here’s something big industry doesn’t want you to see.

ghost-fleet

The ghost fleet of the recession anchored just east of Singapore

The UK Daily Mail says this growing bone yard of ships has never been photographed.

Here, on a sleepy stretch of shoreline at the far end of Asia, is surely the biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history. Their numbers are equivalent to the entire British and American navies combined; their tonnage is far greater. Container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers – all should be steaming fully laden between China, Britain, Europe and the US, stocking camera shops, PC Worlds and Argos depots ahead of the retail pandemonium of 2009. But their water has been stolen.

They are a powerful and tangible representation of the hurricanes that have been wrought by the global economic crisis; an iron curtain drawn along the coastline of the southern edge of Malaysia’s rural Johor state, 50 miles east of Singapore harbour.

It is so far off the beaten track that nobody ever really comes close, which is why these ships are here. The world’s ship owners and government economists would prefer you not to see this symbol of the depths of the plague still crippling the world’s economies.

So they have been quietly retired to this equatorial backwater, to be maintained only by a handful of bored sailors. The skeleton crews are left alone to fend off the ever-present threats of piracy and collisions in the congested waters as the hulls gather rust and seaweed at what should be their busiest time of year.

Full story.

  1. September 17, 2009 at 6:13 am | #1

    Why can’t there be an innovative way to modernize? Why all this ‘Dinosaur-Scat?”

  2. recession
    September 17, 2009 at 6:24 am | #2

    QUICK…. STOP EVERYTHING the worlds economy to never recover. Do not think beyond today Heraldo has spoken. Dan Hauser will look at things objectively and make informed decisions without hysteria, hardly Heraldoesque. Kinda goes against this threads agenda, so let the attacks begin.

  3. 421
    September 17, 2009 at 6:55 am | #3

    my favorite part is the line under the photo

    “The UK Daily Mail says this growing bone yard of ships has never been photographed.”

  4. Steve
    September 17, 2009 at 7:11 am | #4

    Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher, in a September 2009 speech on the state of the global economy:

    “Whereas just over a year ago managers were coping with a pervasive scarcity of inputs and escalating prices, there is now an abundance of almost every input and output and no pricing power. There are too many ships at sea; too many rail cars; too many airplanes and trucks; too many homes; too many hotels and apartments and office buildings; too many retail stores and malls and convenience stores; too much oil, natural gas and corn; and, according to Wall Street Journal reports this week, even too much champagne and bottled water.

    “Businesses trying to sell products and services feel they are pushing on a string and are adjusting their behavior accordingly. To maintain sales volumes and clear inventories in the face of weakened demand, they are cutting prices. Beginning in the fourth quarter of last year, we began to see an upward shift in the number of items falling, rather than rising, in price. In the July data just released, almost 50 percent of the items in the PCE basket—weighted either by simple count or expenditure—were falling in price. Small wonder that headline inflation was negative over the year ended in June: This is the first time since 1955 that we have seen deflation.

    “…for the immediate future, the risk to price stability is a deflationary risk, not an inflationary one.”

    Thus it will take a while for the global economy to soak up the excess production and shipping transport capacity. A bad time to be the owner of container ships … or to be running a container port.

  5. September 17, 2009 at 7:19 am | #5

    The world’s economy certainly will recover someday.

    There is obviously such a thing as the economic cycle.

    It took from 1929 til the mid 1950s to recover in the U.S., some 25 years, long enough to rust these buckets to the deep Pacific.

    On the other hand, there is no guarantee that the US econonmy will recover even if the rest of the world recovers, becuase for one thing the rest of the world enjoys the competitive advantage of national and rational health care systems.

    Or the world economy and the US economy may recover but with less globalism and more localism, thus we may have reached peak globalism. There is a strong movement against Chinese mercantilism developing here in North America if you haven’t noticed.

    And even if the world economy and the US economies recover, and there is even more globalism, that still will not make a container port on Humboldt Bay competitive with ports like Oakland, Long Beach or Seattle. It is a fantasy.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  6. September 17, 2009 at 7:49 am | #6

    It would be nice it someone found an innovative way to reclaim, recycle and reuse the old rust buckets.

  7. September 17, 2009 at 8:00 am | #7

    This story was up at the start of the week on urban survival- he also ran over the shipping stats on west coast ports, all down in double digits.
    It’s a tad late to resist the chinese, as they are chosen by the UN as the next power. They are the model for the future of globalism and government control.
    One topic was that China now has an immigration issue, they are not in recession- their steel mills are at 100%, unlike our shattered industrial base. All this has been done by design, starting with nixon, his trip to China, and the shutting of the gold window.
    The economy won’t recover, because there is nothing for it to recover into, regardless of the lies your corp-gov media claims.
    China also told it’s business leaders to DEFAULT on the derivatives that wall street and our “leaders” have packaged as financial tools, and to buy physical GOLD. It’s the reason behind the run up on the metals market. The bright side to having China’s Middle Class buy gold is the counterfeiting of coins will cease, or will be directed only at the US. Supplies are drying up, you should try to get some metals while federal reserve notes can still purchase them.
    If any of you haven’t noticed, we’ve lost the trade war with China, and soon will watch as our Occupied Nation goes into receivership with the UN behind it all. They are the ones who are pushing for a global currency, and dropping the “dollar” as the reserve currency.

    China is also the only country that doesn’t have chemtrails over it’s cities. Their style of government is the model for the future and those of us who resist that model here, will suffer the same fate as those on 6/4/89 in Tiananmen Square.

    Whatever movement that tries to surface for bringing jobs back here, will be crushed by the same people who tricked the masses with GW3 in disguise as a black man.

    Are you ready for the third world war?

  8. September 17, 2009 at 8:06 am | #8

    I agree with a lot of what you have to say about the economy, BF.

    I am not sure that buying physical gold is a great idea right now, though of course the fiat dollar is seriously tanking right now.

    The problem is that gold may have been pumped up by the re-inflated commodity bubble. The Wall St. gamblers have been given a new stake by the government and the game has started up again.

    Maybe a safer investment would be Swiss francs. A non-fiat currency that is also backed by a modern economy.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  9. Anonymous
    September 17, 2009 at 8:08 am | #9

    Dumb is as dumb does. This blog is a dumb attempt to tell lies as if they were truths. Dan is as liberal as it gets. He has one glaring flaw,he knows we have to have some type of work. The modern progressive can’t hank with that.

  10. September 17, 2009 at 8:17 am | #10

    Oh, I’ve been in around the $500 level- so no worries here. I never bought the hype of enron accounting combined with lies of banksters and government. Gold or silver makes sense if you don’t want to partake in fed script.
    Here is a story about the birth of a government “worker” read it and enjoy: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/863766/snake-born-with-hand-shocks-scientists

    Here is a link to trades in real time with real value: http://www.bulliondirect.com/nucleo/

  11. September 17, 2009 at 9:39 am | #11

    Has anybody looked real close at those ships. Maybe those are all the ones that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle?

  12. Anonymous
    September 17, 2009 at 9:43 am | #12

    Maybe they are just ships that are to old to
    operate and two expensive to salvage. Just
    more hype from the left. More Buettner & Heraldo
    BS.

  13. Anonymous
    September 17, 2009 at 9:53 am | #13

    I am liking Dan more and more everyday.

  14. Ed
    September 17, 2009 at 10:03 am | #14

    Look at the rest of the article 9:43, the photos show some new ships. The post about shipping containers makes the same point. Meanwhile there’s a nice dune to the west of you with a head-sized hole just for you.

  15. High Finance
    September 17, 2009 at 10:52 am | #15

    Silly Heraldo. Overcapacity of shipping tonage is what happens when there is a recession.

    The recession will end soon & the ghost ships will disappear.

    As far as the comment about 1929-1950 by Bill above ?
    Bill, have you heard of the depression and WW II ?

    Wise people do not make long term plans based upon short term problems like a recession.

  16. Mr. Nice
    September 17, 2009 at 10:57 am | #16

    The problem is that gold may have been pumped up by the re-inflated commodity bubble. The Wall St. gamblers have been given a new stake by the government and the game has started up again.

    Maybe a safer investment would be Swiss francs. A non-fiat currency that is also backed by a modern economy.

    Gold has retained its value for a very long time.

    If you had an ounce of gold in the 1800s, you could trade it for some fancy new clothes, shoes, and a spiffy hat.

    If you have an ounce of gold in 2009, you could trade it for some fancy new clothes, shoes, and a spiffy hat.

    It doesn’t matter how much fiat currency gold is worth at any given time. The real value is the value of what the gold can be traded for.

  17. September 17, 2009 at 10:59 am | #17

    The last Republican Great Depression lasted from 29 until the mid 50s. You are mistaken. The DJIA did not reach 1929 levels for 25 years. When WWII ended we were faced with the same overcapacity in manufacturing and the prospect of millions of unemployed servicemen and women.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  18. September 17, 2009 at 11:08 am | #18

    Hello Mr. Nice,

    While I do understand the conventional notion that gold always maintains a value, you must concede that there might arise a situation in life, for instance if you should find yourself alone and without transportation, but with a need to change locations, where a hundred pounds of gold might have a negative value instead of a positive one. :)

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  19. anonymous
    September 17, 2009 at 11:28 am | #19

    Gold is valulable because the aliens need it for their ships(conductivity). Humans have been slaves to the reptilians since the dawn of time. We were brought here to mine for gold. 9/11 was a way to score all that gold that they were hiding under the twin towers. Chemtrails are a way to hide what is flying around up there.

    See you all(or 95% of you)in the slave mines!

  20. High Finance
    September 17, 2009 at 11:38 am | #20

    Bill, Bill, Bill.

    The Great Depression was over with by 1939 as the US geared up for WWII.

  21. Mr. Nice
    September 17, 2009 at 11:50 am | #21

    While I do understand the conventional notion that gold always maintains a value, you must concede that there might arise a situation in life, for instance if you should find yourself alone and without transportation, but with a need to change locations, where a hundred pounds of gold might have a negative value instead of a positive one. :)

    If I were stuck on a desert island with 100 lbs of gold, I’d lug the gold with me and trade it for cannabis when I got back to mainland New Guinea.

    If anything, gold is undervalued on the stock exchange. The official price of gold has fluctuated between $900 and $1000/oz… but there is no way to obtain actual gold for this price. The cheapest I have seen lately is $1100/oz for gold shot and there is a shortage on that. Coins or bars? Forget about it.

  22. September 17, 2009 at 11:57 am | #22

    It took the socialist GI Bill to hold returning vets out of the workforce and the huge infrastructure stimulus of Eisenhowers interstate highway system to pull the US out of depression. The stock market, even before adjusting for inflation, did not return to its 1929 values until the mid fifties. You are simply wrong. The only thing that WWII did was to conume excess production and excess workers, the first by destroying it and the second by killing them.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  23. Mr. Nice
    September 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm | #23

    The Great Depression was over with by 1939 as the US geared up for WWII.

    Did Big Government’s Largesse Help the Locals? The Implications of WWII Spending for Local Economic Activity, 1939-1958

    Wartime Prosperity? A Reassessment of the U.S. Economy in the 1940s

    You simply cannot end a depression with a war. When a war ends, sure. I predict that once our country gets out of the whole Pakraqistan thing, we will be ballin’. Until then, I suspect we will be in an economic slump regardless of how many styrofoam boats that our local inflatables companies pump out.

    It is convenient to say that WW2 ended the Great Depression as that makes for a good bedtime story and makes government war spending sound like a good thing. I’m sure that in the future there will be some other bullcrap explanation for how we got out of the current economic downturn involving Uncle Sam’s brilliance.

  24. High Finance
    September 17, 2009 at 1:04 pm | #24

    You can end a depression with a war & WWII ended the Great Depression. Period. I am not saying that a war is worth it, I am just stating history.

    Bill & Mr Nice, you really need to go back & read history. Google for crying out loud.

  25. Mr. Nice
    September 17, 2009 at 1:07 pm | #25

    History != endless repetition of myth.

  26. Mr. Nice
    September 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm | #26

    Or maybe repetition of bunk is history.

    Columbus discovered America and proved the world was not flat.

    Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity.

    Marco Polo brought noodles and ice cream back from China and introduced them to the inept Sicilians.

    Thomas Crapper invented the toilet.

    Hey, don’t question the factual basis to to those claims, I am just “stating history.”

  27. A-Nony-Mouse
    September 17, 2009 at 1:49 pm | #27

    Sorry, Dan. This article just proves you’re on the wrong track. The answer is not in huge, expensive, environmentally damaging, and unsustainable projects that wreck the bay. They are in short-sea-shipping that barges containers up and down the coast. Facilities could be quickly and (relatively) inexpensively built at the Schneider dock. In fact, I think that was the original reason that dock was built. Coastal container shipping would lower freight costs to local manufacturers, making it actually possible to compete from here. It’s finally time to stop chasing the huge pie-in-the-sky dreams that people like Dan Hauser insist we must have. Let’s support Mike Wilson and make something happen that will benefit us all in the shorter term and not bankrupt us in the process.

  28. Ed
    September 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm | #28

    WW 11 did not end the great depression. When Gov. subsidizes work projects the end result either creates wealth or it doesn’t. War only creates wealth for war profiteers with a little trickle down for the few. True prosperity happens when labor creates something useful out of raw materials like lumber,stone,soil etc. By that definition, War only extends hardship. New deal programs shoe horned us into the beginnings of prosperity, not WW 11. Need further proof? How are we after Bush’s War?

  29. Mr. Nice
    September 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm | #29

    How are we after Bush’s War?

    Bush’s war totally made the housing market catch on fire. Everybody knows that housing is stable and prices have never fallen. This is common knowledge and conventional wisdom. I have heard a lot of people say the same thing.

  30. September 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm | #30

    Ed points out the obvious fact that we are in the longest and most expensive war in our history and simultaneously in the deepest depression in 70 years.

    It kinda deflates the notion that wars end depressions. Which of course they don’t.

    High Finance is being willfully ignorant.

    have a peaceful day
    Bill

  31. Ed
    September 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm | #31

    Indeed Mr. Nice, if that is your real name. We are soo lucky to have our own wise incarnation of the great conservative, only Stephen Colbert comes close to High Finance. I think of him fondly as His Royal Behighness.

  32. Walt
    September 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm | #32

    Hey, speakin’ of Dan: there’s been a sudden bloom (kinda like blue-green algae)of Hauser signs in the yard of CPR folks. Did the 100,000 members get the word? And what was the quid pro quo?

  33. GENE
    September 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm | #33

    Maybe if Dan [with all his wisdom] is elected to the harbor district he will save it from fiscal disaster like he did for the NCRA.

  34. Mike Buettner
    September 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm | #34

    Well with the pulp mill history there isn’t any need for bar pilots.

  35. GENE
    September 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm | #35

    What bar pilots??

  36. Mike Buettner
    September 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm | #36

    Pilotage

    The Port of Humboldt maintains two Bar Pilots to provide expert pilotage for vessel arrivals, shifting between berths, and departures.

  37. GENE
    September 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm | #37

    If there are no ships,why do they need bar pilots?What do these “bar pilots” do if there are no ships to provide expert pilotage?

  38. Ed
    September 17, 2009 at 5:13 pm | #38

    as he waits in the fog
    and sips his eggnog
    thinking of the day
    they’ll need him on the bay
    oh the ships were so wide
    but he knew the right tide
    the barges are gone
    what could have gone wrong?

    bar pilot
    so quiet on the bay
    will he ever
    ever
    ever
    earn his pay?

  39. GENE
    September 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm | #39

    Two thumps-ups to you Ed.

  40. 421
    September 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm | #40

    Facilities could be quickly and (relatively) inexpensively built at the Schneider dock. In fact, I think that was the original reason that dock was built.

    why isn’t there any short sea shipping then?

  41. Not A Native
    September 17, 2009 at 6:05 pm | #41

    Pilots weren’t employees of the Harbor
    District until a few years ago, when shipping declined and there was little work from shippers.

    Recently, the staff proposed making gasoline barges have pilots “for safety”. That would bring in an estimated $165,000 to the harbor district, helping to recoup the pilots’ salaries. Of course the money would ultimately be paid by gasoline buyers.

    Mike Wilson called the proposal “disingenuous”. He supported cutting one pilot and reducing the other’s salary by half.

  42. Mike Buettner
    September 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm | #42

    Stephen Pepper is pursuing short sea shipping. I’m sure financing is an issue.

    http://humboldtlogistics.com/?page_id=2

  43. September 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm | #43

    Ed, you rapper!

  44. Ed
    September 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm | #44

    apologies to Eric Burdon

  45. High Finance
    September 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm | #45

    I don’t know why I bother, but this is for Ed, Bill & Mr Nice’s education.

    “The common view among economic historians is that the Great Depression ended with the advent of World War II. Many economists believe that government spending on the war caused or at least accelerated recovery form the Great Depression.”

    And more;

    “Americas late entry into the war in 1941 finally eliminated the last effects from the Great Depression & brought the unemployment down below 10%”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression

  46. Anonymous
    September 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm | #46

    How is the harbor district funded? Public money? If so, maybe you could convince people to give a damn that their money is being pissed down the drain. I’m sure all the tea baggers would jump on board and picket the meetings until the pissing stops. Haha, just kidding. Maybe if the bar pilots were African-American they would be outraged at the pissing of public money.

  47. September 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm | #47

    Thanks Hi Fi,

    Unemployment was low in 1945 because there were 12,000,000 people in the armed forces. That would be like 25,000,000 now.

    For several years during and after WWII there was strict rationing imposed upon the civilian population, so even those who were employed were unable to spend their money. Sugar, 1 lb a month, 2 tires a year, 1 gal of gas a week, things like that.

    Those conditions can hardly be described as prosperity.

    I remind you, the DJIA did not reach the 1929 plateau again for 25 years, in late 1954. In todays terms since last years crash if this depression is like the last you can expect your 401 ks to recover by 2033, with out inflation of course.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  48. September 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm | #48

    LOL, “Never been photographed”. Umm, it has been photographed as far back as Dec 2008. But don’t worry it being a story that X doesn’t want you to see with all the photographs, and blogs, is about as believable as the 911 truthers. The blog article I linked to was back in May.

  49. September 17, 2009 at 8:28 pm | #49

    The dow NEVER came back after the 1929-1933 Bankster War On These United States. The banksters stole the gold coins- end of story.

    Here is the bankster occupational central bank’s own inflation calculator : http://www.minneapolisfed.org/index.cfm

    Look on and see how they are ripping you off, combined with fractional lending, these evil bastards are able to purchase the world by fiat, crash the currency, and own all the infrastructure by fiat.

    The last time the stock market had any value was right before the tech bubble burst- which was hidden by 9/11, since then the real purchasing value has been in decline.

    Don’t forget that Russia will begin to sell oil in Rubbles starting in 2010. They want a war in Iran, where we will be defeated on three fronts at once because our tanks have chinese ball bearings. Once the unconstitutional military is destroyed, we will beg for food from the UN- who own the natural resources.

    We will listen to this oldie, as our Chinese masters rape the women and burn our homes.

  50. Anonymous
    September 17, 2009 at 8:53 pm | #50

    we will be defeated on three fronts at once because our tanks have chinese ball bearings.

    It always comes back to the ball bearings. We are pawns being manipulated by the Pachinko Industrial Complex.

  51. Anonymister
    September 17, 2009 at 9:31 pm | #51

    High Finance seems to get his economic history from TV talk shows.

  52. Time to get real
    September 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm | #52

    The Great Depression really lasted into the period of the WWII. It was that war, and the industrial demand that it created, that kicked our economy into gear. As we can see by our current situation, we can’t use a war to get ourselves out of our economic decline. There is no economic engine on the horizon that could drive the harbor/port expansion. We need to take a realistic look and Humboldt Bay and concentrate on developing realistic goals. Dreams of a new railroad and container port are just that.

  53. 421
    September 18, 2009 at 7:52 am | #53

    you can expect your 401 ks to recover by 2033

    mine is fully recovered now

  54. September 18, 2009 at 7:58 am | #54

    not if you use the fed’s own inflation calculator…..

  55. 421
    September 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm | #55

    i guess you are all-knowing. meanwhile i am happy with my returns. better than gold.

  56. Anonymous
    September 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm | #56

    I thought you were going to keep that nut case BF from posting embedded videos.

  57. September 20, 2009 at 1:47 pm | #57

    There isn’t an easy way to do that. Are they bogging down the site?

  58. Not A Native
    September 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm | #58

    embedded videos aren’t a problem as far as I’m concerned. As far as BF….if you put out honey, some flies will find their way to you.

  59. Anonymous
    September 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm | #59

    Don’t worry. Dan Hauser and Richard Marks are going the way of the dodo bird. Pollution doesn’t sell in Humboldt County.

  60. October 13, 2009 at 11:00 am | #60

    The dollar hit a 14 month low vs. the rest of the developed world’s currencies today, its value has dropped 15 percent in just 6 months, at this pace your dollars are losing 1/3 of their value per year.

    So “421″ if your 401k is invested in dollar denominated assets like the Dow Jones or S & P or NASDAQ then you need a Dow 20,000 or so to break even. In terms of buying your next Mercedes for example.

    The dollar is being devalued intentionally and purposefully, but they are trying to do it slowly enough to give the Chinese a not too painful exit. Like walking a tightwire – thrilling but accidents can happen.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

    421 Says:

    September 18, 2009 at 7:52 am
    you can expect your 401 ks to recover by 2033

    mine is fully recovered now

  61. September 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm | #61

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually recognise what you’re speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally discuss with my site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate agreement among us

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