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10 Interesting Facts About Containers

Containers for international shipping have been around for a long time. Here's 10 interesting facts that we thought you might be interested in to kickstart your working week:

1. The inventor of the shipping container was Malcolm McLean who in 1956 created the metal shipping container to make it easier for loading goods on and off vessels.

2. There are approximately 18 million shipping containers used around the world, with around 6 million on the move on board vessels, trucks or trains at any one time.

3. It is estimated that about 10,000 shipping containers are lost at sea every year. Containers sometimes float in the water for long periods of time and can cause massive damage to vessels.

4. About 97% of the world's containers are manufactured in China.

5. Shanghai is the world's busiest container port (but you already knew that from reading our last newsletter) with about 33 million containers handled per year.

6. The Keetwonen student housing complex in Amsterdam is made almost entirely from shipping containers. Approximately 1,200 containers were used to create the apartments, offices, supermarket and cafe.

7. A kitten nicknamed "Ni Hao" was accidentally locked inside a shipping container and was put on board a vessel from China to the USA. He survived the 10,450KM journey which took two weeks and became a star at the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care.

8. The MSC Oscar currently holds the record as the largest container ship in the world carrying a massive 19,224 TEU.

9. The first 3 letters of a container number tell you who the container belongs to. Its no surpise that a container starting with MSCU belongs to MSC, HJCU containers belong to Hanjin, and MOLU containers belong to Mitsui OSK Lines as examples. Many containers are lease containers which companies manufacture and then lease to shipping lines. FCIU containers belong to Florens Container Services who are one of the largest such companies.

10. All shipping containers have a CSC plate affixed to them which acts like a passport for a container and records their identity for checking.