Anyone who's ever gone on an ocean cruise has probably seen some amazing things, like breaching whales and incredible sunsets. Cruise passengers probably won't have seen any lost shipping containers -- but it's not for a lack of them. According to the World Shipping Council, international shipping companies accidentally drop hundreds of containers into the ocean every year. As a percentage of all maritime cargo, though, the number of lost containers is very small, considering that cargo ships transport approximately 130 million containers worth around $4 trillion USD each year. The World Shipping Council estimated that between 2014 and 2016, the average number of containers lost at sea every year was 1,390, with a majority of the losses due to catastrophic events, such as structural failures and collisions.
Shipping on the high seas:
- Of the approximately 1.5 million employees in ocean shipping, less than 2 percent are women.
- On average, pirates commandeer two ocean freighters every day.
- The largest container ship ever built is the OOCL Hong Kong, which can transport more than 21,000 containers.