Hundreds of ships are laid up in Norwegian fjords; the waters off Piraeus; the Bay of Brunei ; and the waters of Hong Kong and Japan - a result of the depression that is plaguing the shipping industry.

In the past couple of years, major shipping companies have gone under, including Swedish Saleninvest and Greek Hellenic Lines, and more recently, the Japanese Sanko Steamship Co. Others are fighting for their existence, including the Tung fleet.

According to industry reports, the future remains bleak. In a recent stock rating by Value Line, domestic (U.S.) shipping and ship-related business rated worst among 91 industries.