17 Jun '11, 9pm

Home Business Shipping industry still sailing through rough seas

SINGAPORE - A key measure of commodity shipping costs, the Baltic Dry Index, has barely recovered from its plunge during the 2008 crisis. That means shipping lines that carry raw materials are not earning as much as they want to. This has prompted businesses that invest in vessels for charter to diversify their fleet. The survival of shipping business trusts such as First Ship Lease Trust, Pacific Shipping Trust, and Rickmers Maritime depends on how buoyant the shipping market will be. Demand for shipments has started to pick up along with revived global trade, but a glut of vessels has resulted in cheaper freight rates, which are the lifeblood of ship liners. The Baltic Dry Index, which measures the price of moving raw materials by sea, last stood at 1,424 points (on June 16), hardly clawing back from losses during the financial crisis, when the reading plunged to 663 poi...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Business/EDC110618-0000267/Shi...

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