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No. of Recommendations: 2

I think you have to look a bit deeper before coming to any conclusions on this.

First thing that comes to my mind is the housing implosion. I suspect that alone could account for most if not all of the decline in shipping. That would make this a trailing indicator rather than a leading one, ie just a side effect.

Other factors could include the switch from big SUVs to small SUVs and cars (less weight, smaller size). There is also an increasing push to use the rail system more. Yet another factor may be the type of goods being purchased, ie people buying more mp3 players and plasma TVs - what were they buying before those items became popular?

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