10,000 Shipping Containers Lost At Sea Each Year
Cigarettes galore! Millions of Marlboros washed up on British beaches after Danish cargo ship lost containers during storms will be burned to make electricity
Svendborg Maersk began losing containers off northern France after it was hit with 30ft waves and 60 knot winds on February 14. Company said 85 per cent of the 520 containers which have gone overboard were empty and the others held dry goods. Several containers have washed up on south coast containing millions of cigarettes HMRC officials said all the cigarettes will be burned to produce electricity.
Hurricane-force winds battered the Svendborg Maersk as it sailed around the Atlantic coast of Europe on February 14th 2014. The Danish ship lost cargo including millions of cigarettes after it was hit with 30ft waves and 60 knot winds off the coast of Northern France.
£3million worth of cigarettes have been found washed-up in Devon and Dorset, including Marlboro Reds and Marlboro menthols.
The 40ft long Maersk container was spotted floating in the sea seven miles south of Portland Bill, Dorset.
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, and our understanding of what happens to them afterwards is scant at best.
If you’re a corporation, and you’re faced with a system that is 99.99% efficient, you’re probably going to be pretty happy about it. Yet when scaled up to the global scale, that 0.01% could still mean millions in lost revenue and tons of unexpected consequences.
The system, developed after World War II, dramatically reduced transport costs, supported the post-war boom in international trade, and was a major element in globalization.
Containerization did away with the sorting of most shipments and the need for warehousing. It displaced many thousands of dock workers who formerly handled break bulk cargo.
Containerization also reduced congestion in ports, significantly shortened shipping time and reduced losses from damage and theft.
One famous incident is that of a 40 foot container full of childrens’ plastic bath toys that was swept overboard in the Pacific Ocean in 1992. The ship carrying the container full of almost 29,000 green frogs, blue turtles, red beavers and yellow ducks – known by the brand name of “Friendly Floatees” – left Hong Kong bound for Tacoma, Washington when it ran into a storm in the North Pacific Ocean near to the International Date Line. Twelve containers were swept overboard, including the one carrying the “Friendly Floatees”.Somehow, possibly due to a collision of some sort, the cargo container doors opened and the bath toys escaped. The packaging around them disintegrated, and the bath toys – which have no holes to take on water – escaped.
Sure enough, 10 months after the storm, the “Friendly Floatees” of ducks, beavers, turtles and frogs that had escaped from the shipping container began to turn up along the Alaskan coastline. With a reward of $100 savings bond given by the manufacturers of the toys to anyone who found a floatee, the bath toys journey was traced through Alaska to Washington State, back to Alaska and on to Japan then finally through the Bering Strait to the Artic Ice Pack.