How many shipping containers are lost at sea?
Each year, nearly 120,000,000 containers are transported around the world on the high seas with a total worth of approximately 4 trillion dollars. As you can imagine, the amount of care, packing, stowing, securing, and insuring each and every container’s contents is a monumental task. However, despite the best efforts of professional crews to ensure the safe transport of their ship’s cargo, a large number of factors such as severe weather and rough seas – factors completely out of human control – lead to thousands containers being lost at sea. The more startling revelation though is that the real number of lost containers is actually unknown and could be much higher!
The reason why the exact number of containers actually lost is unknown is because there is no regulatory body that oversees such numbers. There are no requirements that mandate captains or corporations declare if cargo was lost. Any information received and calculated is given on a voluntary basis.
So what happens when containers are lost sea? Well obviously the sink right to the bottom of wherever they’re at. For a while, no one cared to find out for sure just where they were, that is until ocean biologists became curious as to how these modified shipping containers were impacting sea life. Using data that showed common trade routes, they were able to presume where they might find submerged containers. They found them, and what else they found was very surprising. The containers they found were sometimes as much as 10 years old, but they showed little corrosion. A combination of freezing temperatures, combined with corrosion-resistant chemical coatings seemed to have largely kept the containers in pristine condition.
In addition, the “trail” of containers from port to port acted as islands beneath the waves, providing shelter for prey and acting as magnets for predators. The hard, stable surfaces also allowed barnacles to attach themselves and created ideal conditions for mini “reefs” to start. It seems that nature has a way of reclaiming and utilizing even what seems like the biggest problems and mistakes. In a way, the sea life has recycled and repurposed these containers much in the way that businesses turn them into offices, homes, and more!
Recycle and reuse with your own modified container.
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