According to estimates, over 10,000 shipping containers are lost at sea each year; however, accurate figures are difficult to come by because not all losses are reported.
With the rise in consumer demand and the quantity, size, and capacity of ships, the number of containers lost at sea is projected to rise year after year.
When a container is lost at sea, it not only costs money, it also has serious consequences for the ecosystem and marine life. Shipping firms are continuously striving to improve safety and processes in order to reduce loss, increase profit, and reduce environmental risk.
Around 20 million shipping containers are in use around the world, with another 10 million or more out of service and being utilised for a variety of reasons such as satellite offices, pop-up stores, houses, schools, and a variety of other things.
Shipping containers can be lost at sea in a variety of circumstances, the most common of which is when ships run aground due to bad weather or large waves. Other reasons include natural disasters and incorrect stacking - some containers simply fall overboard!
You guessed correctly! The majority of containers will sink. However, depending on the type of container, this could take weeks, and some may continue to float.
Containers and the products they contain have washed ashore on land on several occasions; in most situations, the goods are diverted by locals.
A container containing 20,000 rubber ducks fell overboard on its route from Hong Kong to the United States in 1992 and was discovered thousands of miles distant... Some ducks are still swimming in the sea!
In 1997 large amounts of Lego were discovered on the beaches of Cornwall and the surrounding areas. Various containers were lost overboard, one of which contained around 4 million Lego pieces!
Thousands of packets of Doritos washed ashore on North Carolina beaches in 2006... Many of the tortilla chip packs somehow remained sealed and edible, much to the delight of residents!
The MOL Comfort, a big containership, was caught in strong weather in the Indian Ocean in 2013, resulting in a break that eventually split the vessel in two. It had nearly 4,000 containers on board, making it the worst containership disaster in history.