1. 52 millions tons of freight are moved in the United States. Every. Single. Day.
That’s about the weight of 8 Pyramids of Giza being moved every day in the United States alone.
2. The largest ship in the world can hold 19,000 containers.
Which means that you can load almost one billion (910 million) cans of Campbell Chicken Noodle Soup. The ship, created by Hyundai for China Shipping Container Lines, will be delivered in November.
3. In early 2014, a private company delivered cargo…to SPACE!
The first commercial cargo spacecraft, Orbital Science Corporation’s Cygnus, delivered 2,800 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station on January 10, 2014. We’re still a few years away from Domino’s delivering pizza in space.
4. The largest supertanker ever could carry 4.1 million barrels of crude oil. That’s about 650 million liters of gas.
The “Knock Nevis” was built in 1979 and sailed until 2009 (despite having been bombed and sunk by Iraq in 1988. It can carry enough gas to keep a 2014 Honda Accord driving around the world…680,000 times.
5. 14 out of the 20 busiest seaports in the world are in East Asia
If you lined up all the containers that pass through the 8 largest ports in China each year, they would reach the moon and back (and then some).
6. On the busiest day of the holiday season, UPS planned on delivering 300 packages a second
They also expected to deliver about 34 million packages per day. Due to spikes in late last minute sales, not all packages were ultimately delivered on time. Maybe next year.
7. It’s cheaper to catch fish in Scotland and send it to China (and back) to be filleted, rather than just filleting it in Scotland.
Granted, the Chinese filletors (yea, that’s a word) are being paid less than two bucks a day, is terrible for the environment and probably doesn’t lead to the freshest fish in the world…but yea, global economy.
8. In the time it takes you to read this sentence, truckers in the United States will have driven 80,000 miles.
With over 800,000 truck drivers in the US moving about 13 billion tons of freight a year, truckers are always on the move. Good thing the US has over 4 million miles of roads for them to use.
9. The largest cargo airport in the world (Hong Kong) has over 4 million tons pass through it every day.
And it’s not going anywhere. In the next 20 years, world air cargo traffic is expected to double. At least global distribution is a little more balanced than seaports – 7 of the largest airports in the world are in the US, 4 are in Europe and 8 are in Asia.
10. Cargo ships can be used to beat up monsters.
Okay, this one may not be as true as the other ones. Also, stay away from “Pacific Rim”. It’s not such a great movie.
11. Into smuggling? Only 5% of all containers shipped to the US are inspected.
Seems like the TSA may be focusing a bit too much on my underwear and not enough on gigantic ships.
12. In 2007, over 500 million shipping containers were shipped around the world. But the shipping container was only invented in 1956.
The container was invented by Malcom McLean, a trucker who was frustrated how hard it was to fit non-standard packages on ships. Instead, he created a container that could be moved from train, to truck to ship, eliminating the world’s largest game of tetris.
13. When you shop on Amazon, a robot in the warehouse brings the package from the shelf to a packager.
When Amazon acquired Kiva Robotics in 2013 (paying $750 million dollars), they knew what they were doing. Robots now play an integral role in packaging your orders.
14. Up periscope! Between 2,000 and 10,000 containers fall into the sea every year.
In January, 1992, almost 30,000 floating rubber ducks in containers spilled into the Pacific Ocean. Over the next 15 years, they would help researchers chart ocean currents.
15. The largest cargo container ship can carry 18K shipping containers but only requires 22 crew members.
Strange considering that a passenger 747-400 flight will have almost the same number of crew (about 15-18). That’s the power of automation!