Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Wow, did it get quiet this weekend.
Blind idiots can breathe a sigh of relief at the news from the white house that the economy is already recovering, but as near as I can see, the Ministry of Truth is blowing some serious smoke up our collective asses, practically speaking.

One thing I do remember in vivid detail from my aborted career as a scientist is that statistics do not prove anything; they merely assist in helping you prove your point. And I see this, big time, in the glorious people's Port of Philadelphia, where there's no fucking ships to refuel at this time.

So, in our now-recovering economy, where we're being treated to proofs like the massive spike in the price of gasoline at the pump (proof that investors are going back to their old ways), I'm still not seeing bulk commodities moving at anything approaching the numbers seen this time last year, and even the liner services, running containers? The ships are riding a meter higher in the water for the Panamax vessels- leading me to think that there's either a lot more interest in bulk packing peanut sales, or there is some light shipping going on.

One thing that interests me, although not enough to really look into it in detail, is how the seasonal spike in pre-holiday shipping is evolving. I say evolving, and not changing because we're now waist deep in companies that practice just-in-time logistics, but we're also in a time when liner services are practicing Slow Steaming to save on fuel. I wonder how this will affect holiday supplies of goods? Will we see a devolution in the Box Box logistical chain, (signified, I'd assume, by warehousing rental spikes adjacent to intermodal hubs), or will the chain stretch enough to accommodate an wider gap in the supply web between production and retailer?

One thing that we can't rely on, however, is the for-demonstration-only predictions of the retailer associations regarding holiday sales. I've long been convinced that this is merely a flea circus of a show for the consumers, enabled by creative tax reporting coupld with Ponzi-inspired economic forecasting.
So, I'll continue observing. My little system for monitoring the business activities along the Delaware river will have to evolve too, as the Panama Canal expansion progresses and the Delaware dredging project shows results, too. In the meanwhile, I'm a little worried. Business is slow.

No comments: