Quantifying the Downturn — Global Trade Volume

That global trade volume is down is not surprising. After all, the recession is taking its toll across virtually all geographies, reducing business and consumer demand. But the speed of the drop off -- given that it's so far been almost entirely market- rather than government-driven, forcing the decline -- continues to surprise almost everyone I speak with. Panjiva, a vendor I've blogged about quite a bit lately, recently released some data on their blog that provides some specific numbers based on their own manifest and customs related analysis. According to Panjiva, "in a little over a year, there's been a 13% drop in the number of companies shipping to U.S. customers". But when it comes to rising supply risk, perhaps the more important statistic is that "12% of the companies that shipped to U.S. customers in December suffered a massive decline in the volume shipped to their customers (50% decline in volume from Q4 of 2007 to Q4 of 2008)". That's 12% of companies that unless they redefine their business model are not likely to be around next year. What steps has your company taken to protect itself from the likely impact of these onerous numbers? Doing nothing is not an answer that you can take to your shareholders and customers.

- Jason Busch

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