This doesn’t bode well for this book

Nearly everything is transported by sea. Sometimes on trains I play a numbers game. The game is to reckon how many clothes and possessions and how much food has been transported by ship. The beads around the woman’s neck; the man’s iPhone.

Apple is actually Cathay Pacific’s largest freight customer……you just do not ship something weighing a few hundred grammes and worth $600 by sea.

A container load of iPhones would be worth well over $20 million. You stick them in airplanes, not ships.

8 comments on “This doesn’t bode well for this book

  1. Why not do both (unless they supply them just in time)?

    x% by air for early/earlyish adopters, y% by boat for people who get their iPhone six months after it’s released.

    They must have stock waiting somewhere, might as well have it on a ship.

  2. From a speech by F. W. Smith, CEO of Fedex Co: Today international air cargo/air express is a $78-billion business that transports 35% of the value of goods traded internationally, worth some $10 trillion, but only 2% of the tons moved.

    In 2010, the value of goods transported by air was $32.78 a pound as compared to $1.87 a pound by ocean. For a container ship it takes one ton of fuel to move 330 tons of cargo from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. For a 747, it takes about 330 tons of fuel to move the same amount of cargo on the same stretch.

  3. Also, a month at sea ties up a lot of product and cashflow, so I can see where air freight helps there to keep inventory down. Also, shipping a lot of product with Lithium batteries by sea will require a hazardous cargo sailing, and there may only be one of those a month from HK to the destination port.

  4. With the market life of leading edge electronic goods being not much more than a year, a month at sea as opposed to a day by air could easily knock 8% off the total product sales.

  5. It has always been a rum life at sea(the pun is there–take it or leave it). Will such life be made better by meddling from the scum of the state?.
    One of the reasons the sea is still a bit wide-open is that the various scummy states of the Earth regard it as a highway at best (with some resources–fish/oil etc) scattered by the wayside. The sea proper they can’t rip off so they don’t give much of a shit beyond token claims. If the sea (again I mean the oceans as places in themselves–not just as trade routes) became a success–floating cities perhaps–the political scum and their thugs would soon show up to divvy up the proceeds. Since the main products of the state are thieving, snooping, tyranny and mass murder, seafarers are still better off without them evil Ukranians notwithstanding.
    If you are going to sea you always have needed to be able to look after yourself. One of the early UK horror writers William Hope Hodgson ran away to sea (thro’ choice not necessity) before the turn of the 20th C and, being of slight build, had a number of near-miss encounters with what he called “seamen of the lowest sort”. This lead him to become an early British pioneer of martial arts (he learned jiujitsu from the famed Yukio Tani one of the first two jiujitsu experts to live in London) and weight training–called “physical culture” in those days.

  6. The last time I passed through Singapore airport (which I always remembered as being much nicer – have my standards gone up or have they declined?) there was a sign up that said Singapore Airport handled some improbable percentage of Singapore’s exports – a quarter I think from memory. I am assuming that is by value.

    They make most of the world’s hard drives so it may be true. Would the Singaporean Airport Authority dare to lie to you?

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