(Roughly) Daily

“Freight mobility and movement, while not a sexy policy issue, is a highly important one”*…

… and a hugely profitable one. Shipping rates, which have contributed to inflation, are coming down– but remain high– and massively profitable for carriers…

The results are in. The container shipping industry earned profits of $58.9 billion in the third quarter, breaking a streak of seven straight record quarters for the sector and further confirmation that the industry’s earnings peak is now firmly in the rear-view, according to industry veteran John McCown.

While the $58.9 billion profit is 22.4% higher than the $48.1 billion profit from last year’s third quarter, it is 6.6% lower than the “mind-altering” $63.7 billion earned in this year’s second quarter, making for a slight sequential earnings downturn that is expected to continue in the months and quarters ahead as aggregate overall pricing in the sector continues to ease, McCown said in his latest container shipping quarterly report

Throughout the pandemic, container shipping has benefitted from significant price increases across most lanes as strong consumer demand combined with widespread port congestion drove freight rates to records.

“The sharp upturn in the quarterly bottom line performance of the container shipping industry over the last two years is one of the most pronounced performance changes ever by an overall industry,” McCown writes. “It comes on the heels of results in the more than ten years following the financial crisis and preceding the pandemic that results in a negative overall bottom line. The container shipping industry has literally gone from being at the bottom related to overall industry performance to being at the top related to overall industry performance.”

McCown attempts to put the container shipping’s recent performance into perspective by comparing the industry’s profits to FANG, an acronym he uses for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

“Container shipping industry profits were 14% higher than total FANG profits in 4Q21, 103% higher than FANG profits in 1Q22 and 145% higher than FANG profits in 2Q22. For 3Q22, that gap has expanded even more as container shipping industry profits have swelled to being 158% above total FANG profits.”…

The invisible behemoth– container shipping, from @MikeSchuler.

Bill Lipinski

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As we contemplate containers, we might recall that it was on this date in 1860 that the slave ship Erie was sold at government auction at Red Hook, Brooklyn:

The ship was sold, after being captured and impounded by the US Government, for enslaving and importing Africans, a business banned by the federal government under the Piracy Law of 1820, which followed The Slave Trade Act of 1794, two steps in the USA’s long, slow process of devolving and banning the slave trade (the shipping of captured people) and slavery. Slavery was finally banned in 1865.  The case of the ERIE was chosen by a US Attorney, a judge, and by President Lincoln himself to signal a major change in policy on slavery and their commitment to end it.

The owner and captain of the Erie, Nathaniel Gordon of Maine, did not get off free as was usually the case. He was tried and found guilty of running a slave ship – and the Piracy Law of 1820 said the punishment was execution. Gordon’s supporters, including members of Congress and even friends of President Lincoln, sought a presidential pardon; but Abraham Lincoln refused due to his conviction that a point about slavery needed to be made with the ERIE and Captain Gordon.

Captain Gordon was distressed, in jail, and attempted suicide. He was resuscitated and was hanged at the Tombs in Manhattan and became the first – and only – importer of slaves to be executed for the crime in the USA. Soon after Gordon’s execution, Abraham Lincoln presented his first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Several months later, the Proclamation was finalized, followed by the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery.

Slaver Captain Arrested – Ship Sold at Auction in Red Hook – 1860

source

Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 5, 2022 at 1:00 am

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