SHIPPING: Down the Trough

Twelve months ago, a modern, 10,000-ton collier bound for Europe could be counted on to earn $3,570 profit each day at sea. Last week the same coal-laden vessel on the same run was losing up to $280 a day. After steaming along the crest of postwar prosperity, shipping is down in the trough of a deepening recession.

The trouble with shipping is overexpansion coupled with a recession—and the glut of oil (see below). In 1957, tanker operators expanded their fleets by 5,500,000 deadweight tons, or 11%, to 49.6 million tons overall. But free-world...

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