Shipping Containers, Overboard! Pt 2 of 3

Shipping Containers, Overboard! Pt 2 of 3

9/3/2014 Umut Türker 2309 Times Read

I was concerned about the ecological impact that this would create. The article, however, said that in one such instance, it provided a habitat for species that would otherwise not be in the area. I found this to be somewhat comforting.

I was concerned about damage to the cargo. I have seen many containers and read much about them. I am not certain if they are water-proof, however. I suspect that they are merely water-resistant. If the container is in the ocean or sea for a long period of time, then I suspect that electronics, autos, artwork, books and many other things would be effectively destroyed and unusable.


I was concerned about the economic impact of this. If a car that costs USD45,000 to make and ship is lost at sea then that is USD45,000 that is lost. Perhaps through insurance or other means, the USD45,000 is recovered but the potential profit is still lost. If the car were to be sold for USD50,000 then that is USD5,000 that the manufacturer/shipper will not earn.


More significantly and pertinently—and the impetus for this post—is: Who is responsible for all of this?


Perhaps no one, or everyone, or certain individuals, companies or entities. In the case of loss during a hurricane or typhoon then it may be considered an “Act of God” in which there may be little or no chance of recovery to those who lost money and goods.


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In a Container Handbook printed in Germany, there are various reasons given for losses, including static mechanical shipping stresses, climatic stresses, biotic stresses, chemical stresses, losses through improper training, and others. Human error and, therefore, negligence was briefly mentioned. Each of these could fix the responsibility on others.


In the article that started all of this, the shipping company was found liable, and forced to payUSD3.25 million to the plaintiff. In other cases, the shipping company was also found liable