The shipping containers lost at sea
Hundreds of shipping containers on average are lost at sea every single year; can anything be done to prevent this?
Shipping containers are one of the most highly used cargo to travel the seven seas transporting products and goods from one country to another. In fact shipping containers are arguably the most used and most important sea goers as without them world commerce and trade would be much more difficult – how else would we receive imported cars, furniture and other essential products?
From hurricanes, 50 feet high waves and modern day pirates, the sea poses a threat to not just container ships but vessels in general.
As much as everything seems all well and good with shipping containers overseas, like anything travelling on an ocean there are always risks. Hurricanes and extreme weather in parts of the Atlantic or Pacific can cause enormous damage to container ships and it’s cargo and in some cases the weather is so bad that shipping containers actually topple overboard and into the ocean. There are also great risk from modern pirates (not from Captain Blackbeard on a wooden pirate ship like back in the 1800’s) but on modern vessel with guns and highly dangerous weapons. Modern day pirates pose a huge threat to not just container ships but to all ships on the ocean from cruise ships, yachts and fishing boats. There was even a film about a container ship being hijacked by pirates called Captain Phillips and staring Tom Hanks.
There are measures to prevent piracy and they are enforced pretty well. From the Royal Navy, US Navy and other military and government organisations around the world that counter modern day pirates and theft on the oceans, protection on the worlds oceans is well enforced. There are even pirate tackling groups that work to tackle the problem. The main problem with shipping containers overseas is one that cannot be dealt with, well within reason – mother nature. We cannot directly control the ocean and the weather, when a category 5 hurricane will form the in the Atlantic ocean or when a Typhoon in the pacific. With winds of up 185mph and huge waves a storm of that size can be lethal to say the least and when on a ship in the middle of one, there isn’t much that can be done other then to simply avoid the area or risk going through it.
Like anything travelling across the seven seas there is a risk that outside of our control. The point is though how would modern society survive without the use of shipping containers and imports from other countries? Clearly the is no definite answer for this but one thing is clear, that maybe the necessity for the container outweighs the risk of travelling overseas, especially bearing in mind that a small percentage are lost each year.