As we noted recently, despite global stock markets soaring, global freight indices have been more-than-seasonally weak so far in 2019 with the Baltic Dry Index in particular crashing.
The Baltic Dry Index represents the cost of renting an ocean-going container ship to move goods from, say, Chinese factories to the Port of Los Angeles. The more stuff being made and sold, the higher the demand for such ships, and thus the higher the price to rent one. And vice versa.
This is definitely one of the vice versa times. After rising to robust levels in mid-2018 the Baltic Dry Index has since collapsed..
This is just shy of the worst start to a year on record (since at least 1984)...
As The Wall Street Journal recenjtly noted, Free-Falling Freight Rates Spell Trouble For Shipping