As reported in the Miami Herald.
Roland Malins-Smith, president of SeaFreight Line was one of the keynote panelist speakers at the first day of the three-day SeaCargo Americas conference and exhibition, which is being held simultaneously with AirCargo Americas. Both events are organized by the World Trade Center Miami, the Port of Miami and the Miami International Airport.More than 5,500 people from 61 countries are registered to attend the joint exhibition at the DoubleTree Miami Mart Hotel and Convention Center.
International cargo carriers are struggling to stay afloat in the face of a worldwide recession that has slashed cargo demand, reduced international trade and increased competition among shipping lines, executives said Wednesday at a joint sea and air cargo conference. The industry is on the path to lose $20 billion this year and for the first time in decades, we will have negative trade growth.
Many carriers have responded to the trade contraction by laying off workers and eliminating routes. Seagoing carriers idled about 11 percent of their capacity in 2009. Shipping executives' outlook on 2010 prospects varied. Malins-Smith’s SeaFreight Line, which provide cargo service between Florida and the Caribbean, said he expects 5 to 7 percent growth next year noting a recent uptick in cargo volume due to companies rebuilding inventories but is not clear about what it means and if it's sustainable or not.
The fate of the air and sea cargo industries is vitally important to South Florida. International trade is a key factor in the region's economic growth, generating tens of thousands of jobs. Trade for the Miami Customs District, stretching from Palm Beach County to the Keys, totaled more than $90 billion last year but was down nearly 15 percent during the first half of 2009.