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The year in haiku: 2008

The year in haiku: 2008

Hong Kong: Traditionally, today is the day to labour dear readers with lengthy replays and rehashes of the highs and lows of the year. 2008 was a rollercoaster of extreme proportions - the year shipping finally got back in touch with harsh economic reality.

In keeping with our commitment to be both Asian and concise, our year in review is a year in haiku. This time last year, we warned:

"But subprime fallout,
Excess vessels, surging oil,
Bode ill for '08."

And so it proved. Here then, 2008 in haiku:

The onset of winter

Shipping's winter came,
And looks set to stay a while,
With many on edge.

The year saw great peaks,
But ended with busts galore,
Credit went AWOL.

Ninety three percent,
The Baltic fell since June highs,
Bringing strife and woe.

The super cycle,
Seen since October '03,
Ended with a bang.

Ships are now laid up,
Many are being scrapped,
Newbuild calls are gone.  

Crews were horrified,
By the outrageous treatment
Of the Hebei Two.

Hapag-Lloyd was sold
To Hamburg Inc, just as the
Recession hit home.

China and Taiwan
Opened direct shipping links
After sixty years.

Somali pirates
Made headlines the world over
For their many hits.

Next year promises
To be the hardest seen for
Decades. Take cover!

We wish all readers of Seatrade Asia Online the very best in 2009.

This past year we have covered more than 1,200 stories, and have been rewarded with a far greater awareness by the industry of our simple, easy to access reporting. Visitors are now reading more than 40,000 SAO stories a month.

Next year will see many new features added but our core principle of reporting for free regional breaking news in a concise manner will remain the fundamental goal of this maritime newswire.  [31/12/08]