If there's any consensus at all among shipping pros and industry observers, it's that a dense overcast has descended on the horizon. Visibility has deteriorated.
Apart from macroeconomic concerns (i.e. whether the global recession will end anytime soon), the dry-bulk shipping industry faces its own internal cycle, one that turns on the number of ships plying the high seas, with
of newly built vessels scheduled to come into service in 2010.
And so the
for next year has everyone in the industry concerned. Meanwhile, there are other potential rogue waves: Chinese demand for iron ore and other dry-bulk cargoes has remained robust -- but for how long?
Thus we ask readers of
to climb with us into the crow's nest as we peer through our time-telescopes into 2010. Which of the following six dry-bulk shipping companies has the best chance to outperform its peers on the oceans and in the equities markets next year?
Take our poll to see the consensus of
-- and don't forget to leave a comment to deliver your assessment of the state of the shipping sector.
-- Written by Scott Eden in New York
>>Dry Bulk 2010: Five Stocks to Watch
>>Will the Coming Glut Sink Shipping Stocks?
>>Chart Room: Dry-Bulk Shipping
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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.