Container Shipping : Interesting facts about Container Shipping

Whether it's the car you drove to your work, the mobile at your desk or your kids toys lying across the floor, there's a very good chance they have come from a country just across the Globe. Ever wondered how was it possible to have these products get there ? Almost 90 percent of world trade is done via ships and over 60 percent of the world's deep-sea general cargo is transported in containers. Here are some interesting facts about Container Shipping :

  • The "Father of Containerization" was Malcom McLean (1913-2001). In 1956 he developed the metal shipping container to replace the traditional "break bulk" method of goods handling.
  • It is estimated that on average a container ship emits around 40 times less CO2 than a large freight aircraft and over three times less than a heavy truck.
  • Container shipping is estimated to be two and a half times more energy efficient than rail and 7 times more so than road.
  • Average lifespan of container ships is approximately 26 years.
  • Container ship are equipped with advanced computer systems which enable  precise routing, transport, loading and unloading of thousands of containers in every voyage.
  • It costs about U.S. $ 10 to transport a bicycle from Thailand to the UK in a container. The cost of shipping a DVD/CD player from Asia to Europe or the U.S. is approximately U.S. $ 1.5, a kilogram of coffee just fifteen cents, and a can of beer - a penny.
  • Refrigerators manufactured in Malaysia can be shipped in containers to Los Angeles, 9,000 miles (14,484 km) away in just 16 days.
  • Roughly 97% of all dry freight shipping containers are manufactured in China.
  • A standard 20 feet shipping container can hold 1,150 cubic feet, while a 40 feet container can hold 2,700 cubic feet. To put it simply, a 20 feet container can hold around 3,596 shoe boxes, and a 40 feet high cube can hold 8,443 shoe boxes.
  • Commercially used containers can be tracked with the help of the BIC code,  For e.g CSQU3054383. This is similar to a car number plate and helps in establishing a visual identification system. The code helps in indentifying the details like, the container owner, country, size, type and equipment category as well as any operational marks.
  • Shipping containers can last for over 20 years, provided they are adequately maintained.
  • Port of Shanghai, China is the busiest container port in the world and handles whopping 32million containers a year carrying 736million tonnes of goods to distant counties across the globe.
  • It is estimated that 10,000 (27 per day) shipping containers are lost at sea every year. Major causes are rough weather and improper container stowage and securing.
  • World's largest Container ship "Triple-E class" of  Maersk line is  400 meters long (1,312 feet approx. ) or to put it simply it would be the distance around an Olympic running track, and with a maximum width of 59 meters (194 feet approx.).
  • In normal operation, this giant vessel will be operated with a crew of just 19 seafarers, though it is also possible to operate her with a crew of only 13.
  • She is designed to carry 18000 nos of 20-feet long containers (Capacity : 18000 TEU). If we had to load this number of containers onto a train, we would need a train that would be 110 km (68 miles) long.

(Source: World Shipping Council, Maersk Lines & Billie box)



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