Why you should care about shipping containers
Taking a hard look around you, everything from your mobile phones to your sundry items stashed in the fridge are either directly shipped to you in shipping containers aboard freight liners or some of the parts were and then assembled in your country. But almost always, they’re being shipped to you from inside shipping containers.
According to Fast Company dot com, “today, an estimated 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea, with 60% of that – including virtually all of your imported fruits, gadgets, and appliances – are packed in large steel containers. The rest are mainly commodities like oil or grains that are poured directly into the hull. In total, about $14 trillion of the world’s goods spend some time inside a big metal box.”
The news portal added that in short, without the standardized shipping container, the global supply chain that society heavily depends on, would not exist.
Recently, the global supply line was rocked by the shortage of containers which in turn caused a massive upswing in rental prices for these metal boxes, disrupting the logistics of transporting your favorite overseas purchase. This was all due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which at this point of writing, doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. Despite data showing container prices recovering, it’s still a far cry from 2019’s pre-pandemic healthy figures.
“A recent shortage of these containers is raising costs and snarling supply chains of thousands of products across the world. The situation highlights the importance of the simple yet essential cargo containers that, from a distance, resemble Lego blocks floating on the sea,” Fast Company said.
It added, “to date, maritime shipping has grown increasingly important to global supply chains and trade, yet it was rather invisible until the logjam and blockage of the Suez. As the Ever Given was traversing the narrow 120-mile canal, fierce wind gusts blew it to the bank and its 200,000 tons of weight got it stuck in the muck.”
“About 12% of the world’s global shipping traffic passes through the canal. At one point during the blockage, at least 369 ships were stuck waiting to pass through from either side, costing an estimated $9.6 billion a day. That translates to $400 million an hour or $6.7 million a minute,” Fast Company.com said.
Now, ship-building companies continue to work on building even large container vessels, and there’s little evidence this trend will stop anytime soon.
“Some experts forecast that ships capable of carrying loads 50% larger than the Ever Given will be plying the open seas by 2030. In other words, the shipping container remains more popular – and in demand – than ever.”