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16 Fun Facts About Shipping Containers

There are countless creative things you can do with a shipping container, but do you ever wonder what the deal with these containers is? Here are some fun facts about shipping containers.

  1. Ships move approximately 95 percent of the world’s cargo. Since shipping costs are still high, it is more affordable to send high volume good on cargo ships.
  2. Due to a lower labor rate, approximately 97 percent of shipping containers are made in China.
  3. Shipping lines own about 50 percent of the shipping containers in the world. The other half of containers are leased, usually for between one and 10 years.
  4. If a shipping container is properly taken care of, it can last 20 or more years.
  5. A 40-foot shipping container can hold over 8,000 shoe boxes, and a 20-foot container can hold about 3,500.
  6. It is estimated that between 2,000 and 10,000 containers get lost at sea every year. This equals out to approximately one falling off a ship every hour. Little is known about what happens to a container when it falls overboard.
  7. A 40-foot Conex container full of 28,000 rubber ducks fell into the Pacific Ocean in 1992, and they are still being washed ashore today. There was a website set up to track these ducks, and one person wrote a book about these ducks.
  8. The current number of containers in the world is estimated to be between five million and 170 million.
  9. The shipping industry has spent over $236 billion on buying new ships to carrying more containers.
  10. Currently, over 17 million containers are in circulation around the globe, and they make approximately 200 million trips per year.
  11. Malcom McLean made the first shipping container in 1956, to replace the break-bulk style of handling containers, it was eight feet tall and eight feet wide.
  12. In 2010, it was estimated that over 530 million containers in the world.
  13. The busiest port in the world is the Port of Shanghai, and in 2013 it handled over 33 million containers.
  14. Once an ISO tank, which is made to transport food or liquid in a shipping container, has been tagged for food or chemicals, it cannot be used for any other kind of cargo ever. This is to prevent contamination.
  15. In 2012 a three-month-old kitten named Ni Hao snuck aboard a container in China and was trapped in there for the two-week journey to the United States. The kitten survived the 10,450-kilometer journey with no access to food and water and was nursed back to health when he arrived in Los Angeles. He was adopted out a few weeks later after he recovered. This famous kitten had over 80 people wanting to adopt him.
  16. The largest cargo ship is more than 400 meters long and carries 15,000 shipping containers. Those 15,000 containers can house 745 million bananas.

Custom Shipping Containers Online

Container One offers containers of several sizes that are fully customizable. From schools to pools, from homes to farms, the only limit is your imagination! Visit for more information today.

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