"I AM big — it’s the pictures that got small," protests the ageing silent film star Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. The same could be said about global trade by Maersk Line and other shipping companies whose gargantuan container vessels make their way between Asia, the US and Europe part-empty. The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh-largest operator, has made the mismatch of ambitions and reality very clear. This was supposed to be the age of the ultra-large container ship, piled with thousands of steel boxes holding clothing, toys and Apple iPhone 7s. The world turns out to need smaller ships, or fewer of them. Hanjin ships anchored offshore since early September because ports would not touch them, or sequestered in Singapore and China, could soon be unloaded. But the shock of the first bankruptcy of a major container shipping company since the collapse in 1986 of United States Lines will keep reverberating. READ THIS: Rival’s demise lifts Maersk’s freight rates ...

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