Container Numbers Decline by 9 Percent Due to Corona – 15 Facts That Will Surprise You

Over 750 million sea containers had been moved each year before the corona crisis hit. They have become an integral part of our global economy and a symbol of worldwide trade. has compiled the most surprising facts about the hidden stars of logistics.

  • 1. Due to coronavirus and its effects, 9 percent fewer containers are currently being moved worldwide. In comparison, during the financial crisis, the figure amounted to 11.7 percent. In March and April, a decrease of 20 to 30 percent in handling is expected at German seaports. Picture: Chuttersnap / Unsplash
  • 2. More than 18 million crates of beer – or 568,841,000 rolls of toilet paper – can be loaded onto the world's largest container ships (MSC Megamax-24) which hold 23,500 standard containers (each at 20 feet long). Picture: MSC - Mediterranean Shipping Agency AG
  • 3. At the entrance to hospital buildings, containers serve as drop-in and testing centres for suspected coronavirus cases. In Berlin, the Charité Hospital intends to set up 500 additional beds in containers as part of the pandemic plan. Picture: Falco / Pixabay
  • 4. Fully loaded containers can be stacked up to 9 containers high. This corresponds to a height of more than 16 Tesla Model S stacked on top of each other. Picture: Guillaume Bolduc / Unsplash
  • 5. A 20-foot standard container has a cargo capacity of approximately 33 cubic meters and can hold up to 54,745 iPhone X in their original packaging. Picture: Tom Fisk / Pexels
  • 6. In 2017, more than 750 million sea containers were moved in all ports worldwide. Lined up side by side, this corresponds to more than 11 times the distance between moon and earth. Picture: Tom Fisk / Pexels
  • 7. Each sea container is assigned a unique unit number that can be used to identify and track it. This so-called "Box Number" is like the DNA of the container and makes it easily distinguishable worldwide. Picture: Daniel von Appen / Unsplash
  • 8. Containers lost at sea are used for scientific purposes to study ocean currents. Picture: Kinsey / Unsplash
  • 9. The majority of container losses occur due to shipping accidents and disasters. On average, only 568 containers are lost each year for other reasons. Picture: Chanaka / Pexels
  • 10. Containers gone overboard do not always sink, as might be assumed in light of their material. Because of their contents, some containers float just below the sea surface and thus constitute a danger to other ships. Picture: Julius Silver / Pexels
  • 11. While containers are made of solid steel, correct loading is essential for stability. If a container is not packed full enough or if it is packed unevenly, movement during transport may result in substantial damage or even complete loss of the cargo. Picture: Mak / Unsplash
  • 12. Containers can easily remain in use for more than 20 years if they are properly maintained (including regular paintwork) and thus often outlast their contents. Discarded containers can be easily recycled and thus turned into new ones in no time. Picture: Erwan Hesry / Unsplash
  • 13. Surprisingly, the sea container was not invented until 1956, when industrial robots or nuclear power plants, for instance, had already been in use. Picture: Chuttersnap / Unsplash
  • 14. Sea containers are extremely versatile and are reused for a wide variety of purposes, be it as office container, holiday home, sanitary facility, mobile playground or swimming pool. Nearly everything seems possible when it comes to converting or recycling containers. Picture: Deutsche Industriebau Lippstadt + Geseke /
  • 15. The sky is the limit. This also applies to containers. Open-top containers can be used to transport freight that would never fit into standard containers. Picture: Hansa Container Trading GmbH / TruckScout24

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