Many individuals, when they see those big steel shipping containers, think about trailers on semi’s and trains. But those same big steel shipping containers can frequently be found – heavy as they are – piled up on a barge and sailing the open seas. There’s a lot going on in the overseas shipping industry these days.
It’s All about Numbers
It is not uncommon for steel shipping containers to be stacked, not only side-by-side and end to end, but on top of each other for the big trip. At 20 feet long, as many as 16,000 were carried on the largest ships not too long ago. But with new ships capable of carrying a 13% increase of the new containers entering the picture, as many as 18,000 of these massive containers can now make the trip. Were you to buy, let’s say 20 of these huge vessels you would need to be prepared to drop a sum just short of approximately $3.8 billion.
In an Eco-Friendly World
Steel shipping containers are one of the most eco-friendly methods of shipping in existence. The shipping capacity alone is so massive that far more can be shipped for far less. Steel, in and of itself, is one of the most recycled materials in existence. Those in charge of industrial sized steel shipping containers have figured out many ways in which to save on space, gas and money. Shipping barges used to travel at 25 kn but by taking it down to 22 kn, cash and fuel are conserved. Some of the more modern ships used to move these containers across large bodies of water consume some 35% less fuel than they used to.
With the United States undoubtedly still in recession however, how will this affect the shipping industry as it applies to the Asia – Europe trade? This kind of production is up for grabs, depending upon who you talk to and depending upon when the prediction was made. Conservative thinkers are looking at, over the next several years, about an 8% increase or even as low as a 6% increase. Again however, some economic experts have been quoted as predicting double-digit increases in the industry.