The Trade Problem

View of San Francisco from Sausalito.

See how this ship is riding high off the water? This ship is loaded with empty containers, bound for China.

Ships come into the port loaded with goods that we buy from China. But China doesn’t buy very much from us. So we have to send ships back loaded with empty containers. (Well almost empty, they’re actually filled with dollars, and jobs, and the future.)

5 thoughts on “The Trade Problem

  1. Thanks for the photos. A picture really is worth a thousand words.
    Very sharp insight, Dave.

  2. But remember, it is Wal-Mart (and not China) that is the enemy of Mankind. It’s funny how George W. left Always Lower Prices out of the Axis of Evil.

  3. I know a thing or two about ships (have a degree in Marine Engineering Technology from Cal Maritime), and this ship doesn’t look to me like its loaded entirely with empty containers. I’d be very surprised if it was, actually.
    The thing you want to know, which you can’t know just by looking at pictures like this, is how much does container volume and dry weight cost for transpacific shipments in each direction. They really really really don’t like shipping empty containers. Better to load as many of them as possible with whatever the space will bring on the market.

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