Can your container really be lost at sea

There are many different factors in keeping container ships in tact on their journeys. One thing you can do is be honest with the weight of your cargo so your container is placed in the correct part of the ship. Beyond the supposed incorrect information, the trouble is that there are circumstances in which this cannot be avoided and it is estimated that about 10,000 cargo shipping containers are lost at sea each year. Not all of these are the huge ocean carriers we see. But if a large container ship gets caught in a heavy enough storm, the crew could be up against 70ft seas and the strappings can only hold on so much from the top levels of containers. They can break and unlash and eventually work their way off into the sea.

What happens to these containers is anybody’s guess. At first it will be a slow descent deep into the ocean, but then many times there will be news of contents arriving on a nearby shoreline weeks later.

Once there was a story of a container full of plush toys washing up on a shore right around the holidays so all of the children benefited. While that story may be amusing, it is also probably true. There are many cases in which containers do not hold tight and do get lost. The problem with this is that many containers are lost and do not sink immediately and there is no way to get them out of the ocean. This can create hazards for the ships as well as the various other vessels out in the sea. Sometimes there are small benefits to lost containers such as the rubber ducks that have been floating in the ocean for years. These ducks were lost in a container back in 1992 and have been used in scientific research to follow the flow of currents throughout the oceans of the world. In fact, so many people are aware of this group of plastic ducks that no one has cleaned them up. People are still finding these ducks washing up onto the shores after 19years of floating. Overall though, the lost containers generally do not work to our environmental benefit and are becoming a harder and harder problem to solve as the shipping industry grows and the amount of ships in the ocean are more and more.

The best thing container shipping customers can do is to be sure to give the correct information to your freight forwarding company to put on your documents. This will allow the international shipping company to load the container properly on the ships to maximize safety and allow for the least amount of loss when the seas get dangerous. And next time your carrier tells you that your container fell off the ship, you can rest assured you are getting the truth.

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