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10,000 Shipping Containers Lost At Sea Each Year

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the shades-of-spook-country dept.

Transportation 163

kkleiner writes "Right now, as you read this, there are five or six million shipping containers on enormous cargo ships sailing across the world's oceans. And about every hour, on average, one is falling overboard never to be seen again. It's estimated that 10,000 of these large containers are lost at sea each year. This month the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) sent a robotic sub to investigate a shipping container that was lost in the Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2004. What's happened to the sunken shipment in the past seven years? It's become a warren for a variety of aquatic life on the ocean floor, providing a new habitat for species that might otherwise not be attracted to the area."

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oh, new habitat you say? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729488)

then i guess it is okay that the contents of the containers are breaking down and polluting the water around it?

remember the "artificial reef defense" if you are ever cited for littering.

Re:oh, new habitat you say? (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729614)

The contents of that particular container are tires. I doubt they are going anywhere. (yes, I live in the Monterey Bay area)

Re:oh, new habitat you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35730926)

I find myself reminded of the beaching of MSC Napoli from a few years ago, which got quite a lot of press coverage around here. That's my mental reference point for how dangerous the average cargo will be. The Napoli capsized and spilled a lot of cargo all over our beaches, most of it was fairly harmless - timber, metal parts, cloth, empty barrels... but a few of the containers were holding barrels of ultra-high concentration hydrochloric acid.

Admittedly, the long term harm from an HCl spill would be almost nil once it dilutes, but even so you'd hope that containers being used to move hazardous chemicals would be the ones best secured.

"Lost" (5, Interesting)

Warbane (2034760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729496)

I wonder how many of those 10,000 are really lost and how many are "lost."

Re:"Lost" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729528)

The ones that are full of drugs or other contraband are lost and the ones dumped for insurance purposes are "lost."

Re:"Lost" (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730612)

and the illegal immigrants too.

I'd expect drugs to come stuffed up a mule or cow or race horse or something like that anyhow.

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729578)

Yes, I'm sure some crew members sometimes pick up one of those huge containers, jump overboard, and swim to shore with it.

Seriously...

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729626)

No; they offload it at unregistered ports, or bribe port officials, or do some ninja-esque hauler stunts at sea.

Though doing the third method would be as remarkable as building the pyramids.

Re:"Lost" (2)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729656)

It's not that hard to offload cargo from on ship to another at sea, it's been done for hundreds of years.

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729834)

But lifting a 30-ton container from a cargo vessel to a 70-100ft pirate ship? Two freighters aren't going to meet up without drawing attention.

Re:"Lost" (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730030)

Ocean is a big place, and nobody is watching.

Re:"Lost" (0)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730508)

Except for a couple of CIA satellite guys looking for new sources of their favorite donkey porn.

Re:"Lost" (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730934)

Not really, the ocean is really big. Geo is really far away, and LEO sats only cover a area for 10 mins or less per 12 odd hours (depends on the orbit). More to the point. Anyone with that kind of hardware doesn't give a rats arse about a few containers.

Re:"Lost" (1)

RooftopActivity (1991792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731144)

That's what they want you to think! It's about what's IN the container!

Re:"Lost" (2)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732284)

Some ships have onboard cranes that can lift containers onto smaller vessels, I saw them doing it on an episode of "salvage code red" (they were removing the containers to reduce weight and get the beached ship out)

Re:"Lost" (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730954)

It's not that hard to offload cargo from on ship to another at sea, it's been done for hundreds of years.

True, naval vessels have been doing underway replenishments for years, but not with containers. Transferring cargo between two moving ships using lines and hoses is hard enough. Container ships don't have the cranes needed to move them, and it's a pretty precise operation even when the platforms are stable in port.

Re:"Lost" (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731086)

Although there's no reason you can't individually offload small, high value cargo and then just dump the container overboard. It's a lot more work, but if you have a buyer and the price is right it might still be worth it. What do 30 tons of iPads go for on the black market?

Re:"Lost" (2)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731202)

The only issue with that is that it's only viable to be done with the topmost cargo containers. Remember these containers are stacked vertically. If the valuable stuff is at the bottom, you can't crack it open, loot it, and dump the container overboard without first dumping the containers above it to make it look like an accident.

Thus, you pay off someone to load the most valuable stuff on top.

Re:"Lost" (3, Interesting)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731250)

It is probably for that reason that valuables are loaded under deck.

Re:"Lost" (2)

longacre (1090157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730036)

There's a whole season of "The Wire" about this very topic.

Re:"Lost" (4, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731668)

And another 47 series of Lost.

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729584)

I'm sure someone's already tried the GPS-tracking approach, and became a conspirator after blackmailing the people stealing cargo.

Oh. And by "people" I mean extraterrestrials. Of course. Aliens be in our base, stealing our shit yo!

Re:"Lost" (3, Interesting)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729636)

If I were the captain of this ship, [setsail.com] I'd just dump the whole lot overboard and blame pirates.

Re:"Lost" (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731780)

Looks like one of the lower containers buckled. I would think they would load one layer of containers sideways every once in a while instead of loading everything parallel to the keel. It would help to lock the stack together and spread the load in case a container buckled.

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729672)

The story shows that this is a delivery rate of 99.99%, I would be rapt in these GREAT numbers.
So carry on as before.

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729902)

If delivery were any lower there would be an actual investigation. Looks like the perfect target.

TFA:

Yet when scaled up to the global scale, that 0.01% could still mean millions in lost revenue

They aren't lost one at a time... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729890)

They overload container vessels on purpose, raising the center of gravity of the ship. If there is smooth sailing, you make millions extra a year. If you hit rough seas, you cut loose your entire top layer of containers, lower your COG, and still come out ahead in the grand scheme of it all.

1 an hour...as an average. Reality would be more like every 100 hours 100 containers get cut loose.

Re:They aren't lost one at a time... (5, Interesting)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730944)

I have been told you can get quite cheap rates for the top layers. Also some have shear pins even, so that once the roll is at a particular level, they pop off automatic like (so i am told).

Also you should never, ever, ever ship something without insurance if you can't afford the loss.

Re:They aren't lost one at a time... (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731410)

The top layers can only take really light containers, so I bet that those would be cheap.. especially if there has been a lot of heavy containers booked, and cell space is going to waste.

Re:"Lost" (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729930)

I wonder how many of those 10,000 are really lost and how many are "lost."

I got this container of LCD televisions hea', great price, just for you. Where'd it come from? It fell of the back of a boat, that's all I'm sayin'.

Re:"Lost" (-1, Troll)

mikes.song (830361) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730068)

One word: unions.

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35730826)

I read that as unicorns and got all excited about sea-unicorn bandits for a moment.

Re:"Lost" (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731234)

I read that as unicorns and got all excited about sea-unicorn bandits for a moment.

Narwhals.

Not sea-unicorns, narwhals. And yes, they do engage in banditry on the high seas.

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35730072)

Do you mean like they are on an island that can only be accessed by entering is with exact coordinates and is populated by smoke monsters, others and dead people in limbo.... or do you mean people simply taking stuff?

Re:"Lost" (4, Interesting)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730138)

As someone who has worked unloading containers from overseas I have to say cooking books is fun. I've unloaded quite a few containers that came from Asia (China) that were not on skids but seemed to have made it the entire trip with boxes up to the top on both side but somehow empty in the middle, interesting to say the least.

Re:"Lost" (1)

Blackajack (1856892) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730228)

When unloading containers at the central Nike warehouse in Netherlands, we'd find a container that was ransacked once or twice a week on average and missing or opened boxes were a daily occurrence.

Once, after a particularly bad while our supervisor got a bunch of pictures of the seals in the container doors and was told to compare every seal to a picture before anyone touches it and call office immediately if it looks different in ANY way. After that we found no more tampered containers.

..For two days..

Exactly (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731192)

Do they 'fall' or are they pushed?

Re:"Lost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731616)

Or just toxic waste dumped off the coast of Somalia?

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html

In New Jersey we call that "IT FELL OFF A TRUCK" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731720)

n/c

Re:"Lost" (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731962)

It's the new "fell off the back of the truck"

100,000 sneakers in that container? (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729504)

So, are there 100,000 sneakers in that container? What happens if we open it?

Re:100,000 sneakers in that container? (2)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729522)

A smell like you wouldn't believe.

Vegeta how many were lost? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729536)

OVER 9000!

Old news (0)

kdsible (2019794) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729542)

Things must be getting tight i read this story last month on the BBC.

Similar idea, but on the surface (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729554)

I watched a documentary that suggested that artificial "floating reefs" be set out on the open ocean where biological deserts have formed to establish this type of habitat. The idea came from all the sea life attracted to the shelter of flotsom.

I'm not a biologist, but I am curious if these open ocean deserts are man made or just nature. Hard to imagine the latter from what I've read in historical accounts of the oceans.

Re:Similar idea, but on the surface (3, Informative)

willy_me (212994) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729728)

I'm not a biologist, but I am curious if these open ocean deserts are man made or just nature.

They will most likely be naturally occurring "deserts". I know that some sea cucumbers are protandric - they can change gender if required. I guess when traversing the sea floor it can take a long time to come across another sea cucumber. So when this happens, and they are both of the same gender, one changes gender allowing them to procreate. This quality would not have evolved without large desert like expanses in the ocean.

Current human activities do not appear to be effecting the deserts so much as they are effecting the ocean's oases - the coral reefs. Higher temperatures, increased CO2 levels, and fishing are all destroying these ecological hotspots.

Re:Similar idea, but on the surface (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730966)

In fact it has been speculated that the much smaller numbers of fish (that we have eaten/killed) above these ocean deserts does have a large impact. The majority of food is things dying up the top and sinking down, less to die, less to sink, less food......

Re:Similar idea, but on the surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731112)

... So when this happens, and they are both of the same gender, one changes gender allowing them to procreate.

Dude, that is really gay.

Re:Similar idea, but on the surface (1)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730442)

I am curious if these open ocean deserts are man made or just nature.

Not necessarily a direct answer, but this academic presentation is incredibly eye-opening and well worth a watch:
http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_jackson.html [ted.com]

Re:Similar idea, but on the surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732022)

since the shipping containers are full of mystery goods which may or may not be toxic and whose containers may or may not decay gracefully, i think the Gump quote is apropos here, "reef is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get."

Re:Similar idea, but on the surface (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732350)

Yes they are natural and have been for a long time. They are not lifeless just have a lower density of life. Almost all life starts with plant life. plant life needs sun light and nutrients So in the deep mid ocean what plants you have near the surface when they die sink to the bottom. When fish eat the waste sinks. When the the fish that dies eats them they sink. So you have have the energy source and the nutrients separated by miles of water column. Unless you have vertical currents there is not much mixing. BTW the richest locations in the sea are where deep water raises to the surface. So yes they are natural because they are caused by the laws of physics. Kind of like how there really isn't much life above 1700 meters in the atmosphere unless there is some kind of land sticking up.

One more thing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729556)

To add: If the Captain of any vessel orders it, (in an emergency) any containers they are carrying can be jettisoned to ensure the ship's safety.
Having worked helping customers move their personal possessions overseas, (mainly for oil & telecommunications companies) I can tell you we very rarely mention it. I have had many people as me if they can pack their kids in with their sofas though.

Re:One more thing (1)

tantaliz3 (1074234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729942)

No, but we have great little containers with the words "Live Animals" on the side. :)

wessel (2)

ghostdoc (1235612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730668)

nope, still pronouncing 'vessel' in my head as 'wessel'. Damn them and their multicultural crew.

Re:One more thing (4, Informative)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731376)

Here's an even more unpleasant truth about international ocean shipping: essentially the shipping company is not liable for the 'disposed' containers, either. If the shipping company has enough losses on a vessel to declare a "General Average", then the compensation for the losses (including vessel damage, if any) are assessed against the other *customers* with cargo on that vessel.

Basically, the vessel is carrying the cargo as a courtesy; any risk of loss belongs to the owners of the cargo(es) collectively, NOT to the carrier.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_average [wikipedia.org]

So as a forwarding agent, not only do you get the pleasure of telling someone that their container of goods has been lost, you get to tell them that
a) they still have to pay freight shipping costs, AND
b) they're going to be legally liable for their 'share' of whatever the general average costs work out to be

Oh it's great fun.

Re:One more thing (5, Funny)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731484)

And that is why these guys [cargolaw.com] recommend shipping insurance (there are many others in their business, I'm sure). They also maintain the Gallery of Transport Loss [cargolaw.com] , with photos of the disasters that have occurred to various ships and freight airplanes, which for some reason I find terrifically amusing.

It's also an example of terrible web design (on every page you have to scroll down a long way to get to the actual content). Nevertheless it's worth navigating in any case for a couple of hours of pictures of ships on the beach, ships sinking, ships struck by hurricanes, ships losing containers, etc.

A couple of examples:

towboat pulled under a bridge, rolled upside down, and comes up on the other side [cargolaw.com]

M/V APL China [cargolaw.com] struck by hurricane, limps into port with containers hanging over the side.

Last but not least, a day at the beach [cargolaw.com] turns into four months. Truly amazing pictures of people walking up the beach next to a huge container carrier

Re:One more thing (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731942)

The wikipedia article states that "merchants whose cargo landed safely would be called on to contribute a portion, based upon a share or percentage, to the merchant or merchants whose goods had been tossed overboard". The ones who lost cargo would be on the receiving end, not on the liable end.

I imagine that container "berths" towards the center of the ship would demand a higher price because there's less chance of them being tossed (or accidentally falling overboard) than those at the sides and top of the stack.

Sharks with fricken iphones (3, Funny)

Leuf (918654) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729572)

You do not want to be the guy that has to explain to the shark that water damage isn't covered.

Re:Sharks with fricken iphones (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729982)

... or ill tempered sea bass with frikken hello kitty laser pointers attached to their heads.

Human Trafficking? (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729580)

The number of people that are lost out of that 10,000 would be an interesting question as well. But then again, how would anyone ever know?

Re:Human Trafficking? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730096)

Creepy. Like right out of Amistad [youtube.com] .

A-HA! (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729592)

I knew all that global warming stuff was nonsense. Now we know the REAL reason sea levels are rising - it's simply displacement of 10,000 cargo containers' worth of water every year!

After all, all that water has to go SOMEWHERE...

Re:A-HA! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729696)

A 40' shipping container is about 60 m^3. The surface area of the oceans is about 360x10^12 m^2 (360 million square kilometers). That means sinking 10,000 cargo containers (assuming no water got inside) would raise the sea level by about 1.7 nanometers per year. That fails to explain the observed 1.8mm/year rise by about 6 orders of magnitude.

Just in case anyone was inclined to take you seriously.

Re:A-HA! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729702)

Just in case anyone was inclined to take you seriously.

For a moment or two there, I thought you had.

Re:A-HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729950)

Ugh, I stopped taking you seriously when I saw you used "orders of magnitude" in an attempt to seem smarter. Why not just say "million times greater" something that is native to our thinking process in our base 10 system, no conversion is necessary. AND, we have a single word for it, it's not like 1 * 10^145, even something above a trillion I could understand, because anything above that isn't common knowledge. EVERYONE knows 1 million, and it is used in common language every day.

also,

Admiral Akbar says "Our oceans can't repel shipping containers of that magnitude."

Re:A-HA! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730136)

Ugh, I stopped taking you seriously when I saw you used "orders of magnitude" in an attempt to seem smarter.

Why do you think he attempted to seem smarter by using that term? As far as I'm concerned, that's a perfect normal term, which I'd also use without thinking about it. Using the term has to do with being used to the term, not with a desire to appear smart. Indeed, it would never have appeared to me to connect that term with smartness in any way.

Re:A-HA! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730594)

Because "order of magnitude" is a term understood by anyone with half a brain and has its own additional implicit meaning - like "you forgot a few zeros, dumbass".

Re:A-HA! (0)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730930)

Indeed, even i understood that term, and I'm an Arts major!

Re:A-HA! (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730016)

wow 1.8mm a year. we ARE in trouble

Incoterms (1)

fivevoltforest (2012744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729598)

Makes you realize why there are so many designations and varying terms for the transfer of goods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incoterm#Summary_of_terms [wikipedia.org]

If I order my container full o' crap from China on FOB terms, when it falls into the sea (or gets "lost") I take the hit.

But should I choose to have them send DDP, I bear no responsibility until the container is unloaded at my receiving port.

Re:Incoterms (2)

Thorfinn.au (1140205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729638)

Yes, but no-one deals is in anything but FOB or FIS.

Re:Incoterms (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730766)

Thanks for the excellent link.

I think if you were dealing with one factory for all your product and you only had one warehouse to receive the goods, DDP might make sense.

But suppose you work for a large sportswear company and you contract with several footwear and apparel factories in a country. On top of that, you may have more than one major warehouse and may also ship some product directly to the warehouses of your largest customers. In that case, you're probably better off with FOB because then you have better control over how the product is shipped. There are several reasons for this:

1) you can probably get better deals with the shipping carriers shipping all your consolidated products to a handful of locations than the factories might get shipping to many different locations

2) you can coordinate shipments of related products. The green and white shoes from one factory get shipped together with the green and white shorts and shirts from 2 other factories.

3) if a factory finishes product early, they might send it before you really want it (they want to transfer ownership and get paid). If you control things from the consolidator forward, you can hold it there or schedule it on slower/cheaper vessels.

4) you may need to switch from vessel to air-freight by the time the goods are manufactured. This will be easier to accomplish if you own the product at the consolidator.

5) if for whatever reason you wanted to have the product destroyed (e.g. all your "McCain/Palin t-shirts that didn't get finished until December '10), it's easier and cheaper to have them destroyed in the remote country than doing it locally after paying freight and customs.

In any case, however you structure your contracts, you will have to a premium for the factory/shipper keeping ownership and liability further into the supply chain. So even if you do choose DDP as your terms, you'll pay for that, and probably more than if you had chosen FOB and arranged for shipping and insurance yourself.

My Prayers to Rod Serling Have Clearly Gone Astray (0)

avatar139 (918375) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729658)

I was hoping the Demi-God of Irony, Rod Serling, would influence the God of Inevitabile Ill Fortune, Edward Murphy, in ensuring that every single one of those 100,000 containers was filled with the entirety of the first run of DVD copies of the movie Titanic when it was originally released!

I'm betting that Murphy was able to divert my prayers to Serling for the same reason that (for those of you who are wondering) George Nichols wasn't appointed in his position instead, which is that as we've all suspected over the years, even the Gods are not above Murphy's law!

I suppose I should've tried aiming for the Blue-Ray release instead, that would've only taken three containers to fill instead of all of them!

It's not just at sea! (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729698)

The Big Mac containers lost in my apartment have attracted new life, as well!

29,000 rubber ducks (5, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729708)

Reminds me of this story. Basically, 29,000 toy yellow ducks fell overboard as it was leaving China back in 1992.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464768/Thousands-rubber-ducks-land-British-shores-15-year-journey.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:29,000 rubber ducks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35729758)

Wikipedia has info and a few more references about these ducks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_Floatees

The Harper's Magazine article about them is especially good.

Well known hazard to yachties (5, Informative)

waimate (147056) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729812)

Many of these tend to float pretty much at surface level for days or even weeks. With surface waves, they are impossible to see from small craft but of course are massive and hard. They are a very well known hazard to cruising folk crossing oceans, and will readily hole and sink a fibreglass yacht, or even knock a keel off. Forward-looking sonar, if you've got it, can't see them because of waves.

There are thousands of people crossing oceans in smallish boats, and every year a few of them go missing due to shipping containers. They very thought of them makes a cruising yachtie's blood run cold.

Re:Well known hazard to yachties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731914)

There are thousands of people crossing oceans in smallish boats, and every year a few of them go missing due to shipping containers. They very thought of them makes a cruising yachtie's blood run cold.

Don't worry, I'm sure your millions of dollars will warm that blood right back up.

Container holding 50,000 iPads lost at sea (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729852)

... and 7 years later, a new breed of octopus will be discovered, one that lives exclusively on meals [amazon.com] ordered from Amazon.

Re:Container holding 50,000 iPads lost at sea (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730600)

But will it be able to predict world cup results?

Woot? (1)

upto0013 (1144677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729860)

So this is where Woot.com gets all their crap?

It's not just containers that get lost (2)

ahodgkinson (662233) | more than 3 years ago | (#35729932)

I've seen a statistic somewhere, I think it was from Lloyds, which states that, on average, one ship gets lost per day somewhere in the world (I believe it included hijacking and piracy) . These are mostly small ships, but given that an occasional container ship goes missing, I wonder how many of the containers are lost due to entire ships sinking.

I also wonder how much theft and smuggling contributes to the number of 'lost' containers

Re:It's not just containers that get lost (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730208)

That insurance statistic is from P&I insurance, you would need to look up "Loss Prevention." P&I Insurance companies compile these statistics (Lloyds still only do hull insurance and not cargo).

Stop the whining. (5, Funny)

MaroonMotor (967664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730012)

Container sacrifice is the only thing prolonging Cthulhu's sleep.

Re:Stop the whining. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35730350)

Is that some kind of a cargo cult?

So this is the real reason for rising sea levels. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35730388)

ô..ô~ --- piggy

Sea level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35730472)

I thought it was global warming raising sea level

ObNeal Stephenson (1)

kieran (20691) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730620)

Quote from "Zodiac":

"They claim that this junk was going to become a habitat for marine life. You don't buy that?"
Bless her, she did know how to blow my lid. "Rebecca, goddamnit, since the beginning of time, every corporation that has ever thrown any of its shit into the ocean has claimed that it was going to become a habitat for marine life. It’s the goddamn ocean, Rebecca. That's where all the marine life is. Of course it's going to become a habitat for marine life."

oh noes! we're all doomed! (1)

ghostdoc (1235612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730654)

Did anyone else pick up on the bizarre doom-mongering going on in TFA?

To quote:

We lose a few (relatively speaking) containers a year.
These containers are a product of a new technology.
Aquatic species use these containers to live in, and might spread to new areas where they would affect the ecology
ALL NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE DANGEROUS AND WE MUST BE SCARED OF THEM!

I understand that in order to get any MSM attention these days there must be an overwhelming imperative involving the destruction of all we hold sacred, but this is stretching a point surely?

Re:oh noes! we're all doomed! (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35730940)

Noticing when technology is used irresponsibly is not the same as being a Luddite.

Suspect.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35730976)

>Where'd you get this?

>Dont worry 'bout it, it fell off the back of a containership.

Better details please (1)

cyberfin (1454265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731256)

Article fails to mention that the estimate is between 2.000 and 10.000 containers lost at sea per year. Going straight to the highest figure is, well, a little sensationalistic.

Also, at a low (and I mean LOW) estimate of 200 million containers shipped worldwide every year, it would mean that the highest amount of lost containers per year represents a percentage of 0,005. Considering the rough conditions of certain parts of the oceans, I would call that an unimpressive figure, even non-newsworthy.

So THAT'S what happened to my flying car. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731272)

I was having it shipped in from Moller's new facility in China.

BS, I say it's on purpose... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731580)

Well, let's say you are the captain of a ship and need to make extra cash cus they just don't pay you that much, and lets say some said company is willing to pay xxx amount of dollars, to drop a shipping container on purpose containing yyy garbage in it....could be toxic or not, but in the end, it costs less to make it appear like an accident and that we end up leaving the garbage at the bottom of the sea, because, if it would happen to be say IMPORTANT STUFF THAT A COMPANY OWNS OR PERSONAL BELONGINGS, we would have heard about this a long time ago, and they would have already devised a way to avoid dropping that important cargo overboard, especially with all the technology we have today, this could be avoided, the fact it is only coming out now and barely even mentioned as something
that everyone is up in arms over (can you imagine Walmart, your customer is waiting for their goods, and your deadline is approaching and you hear they dropped your container on the bottom of the sea....it would not get swept under any rug....we would all hear about it)

So I wonder if this is just another ploy to get us to accept, "hey sometimes containers drop overboard"
we then accept said scenario....
then scenario happens even more frequently by accident (wink,wink)
and no one knows any better, that we now have an extra place for all human garbage....and that only in 15 years will we discover the truth, and have to deal with a massive clean up......

Many would think I might have an overactive imagination....but with all the supposed smoke screens today, how could we not have seen the BP oil (scam i call it) accident, that could have been prevented had there been xxx....
or how could someone fool the whole stock exchange and make 50 billion disappear....
or how could such a disaster happen in haiti, and that 1 year after we all pledged to help them,
they still have yet to get the help they need ....and not so much as a peep in our news about this fact....

smoke screen, smoke screen, smoke screen......
So why do I think like I do about such things, because I have been trained by our governments to think outside the box to see the real truth....most of the time.

Re:BS, I say it's on purpose... (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732236)

It's a little misleading to say that one on average is lost every hour. Realistically, most of them are lost during large storms where several fall off the ship. It's not like the ship just shows up and the stringy guy's container is missing.

I call BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731986)

There's no way human activity of any kind could possibly contribute to the expansion of life and creation of new habitat. I know this has to be true. I heard it on NPR.

Top Heavy (2)

zbrewski (1458389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732052)

Original article claims the containers are rarely weighted. I beg to differ, for I was briefly employed in this industry and have witnessed great care during loading (and unloading) container ships. The Center Of Gravity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacentric_height) for any ocean going vessel is very very important thing and has to be kept right in proper place for given ship, not too low and not too high. While one can adjust CoG to some level by ballast tanks/pumps, the weight of containers and their positioning are major factor. I think the guys and gals on the container ships are taking this very seriously.

Human trafficking (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732186)

I've heard about people being snuck into various countries by being "loaded" into shipping containers. I now have to wonder how many are at the bottom of the ocean whether by choice (illegal immigration), or not (human trafficking). Whoops sorry, your Filipino Mail-Order Bride was lost at sea. No refunds.

yet another reason (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732242)

to boycott goods from overseas.

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