How Many Shipping Containers Fit on A Cargo Ship?

Although shipping containers are extremely useful as a construction material, many people still use them for storage and transportation.

Shipping containers have been used for decades to transport goods around the world and are still the most popular method of ‘shipping’ for moving goods from one country to another.

One of the main reasons shipping is so favoured is that massive amounts of cargo can be moved in one go without creating disruption or logistical challenges. Every day, cargo ships carry huge numbers of shipping containers with a relatively low number of staff, safely and securely.

Why Shipping Containers?

Shipping containers were first invented in the 1950s in the USA. They were designed so that they could be easily transferred from a ship to a truck or train quickly and without the need for unpacking. Instead, the entire shipping container could be taken straight off the ship and onto the next piece of transportation, which would take the cargo to the next stop on its journey.

By being a standard size and shape, they could be moved, stored, stacked and transferred without issues. If you are buying a container, you too will be able to benefit from the standardisation which have become a staple in the shipping and transportation of goods industry for decades.

The ability to stack neatly, securely and easily are all strong selling points and shipping containers’ ability to withstand extreme weather and their watertight properties make them the preferred choice for a wide range of industrial applications. In fact, many businesses choose to adapt and convert the shipping container for everything from pop-up restaurants and exhibition stands to generator enclosures and storage for lithium-ion batteries.

Shipping Container Numbers

There are usually two different sizes of shipping container which are used for shipping in cargo ships: the 20ft shipping container (also known as a TEU), and the 40ft shipping container (which is known as an FEU). Naturally, the number of shipping containers that can be fitted onto a cargo ship depends on the size of the shipping container.

The first cargo ships used to be able to transport around 100 TEU shipping containers. However, today, the largest cargo ship can transport over 21,000 TEU shipping containers, and Orient Overseas Container Line Hong Kong – the company that currently owns the largest cargo ship in the world – are looking to build even larger ones.

A 20ft shipping container has dimensions of about 20ft x 8ft x 8ft, and its total capacity is roughly 1360ft³. When this is multiplied by the 21,413 TEU shipping containers that the ship can hold, it means that the ship can have a capacity of about 29,121,680ft³.

As the world becomes increasingly globalised, demand for shipping will also increase. Sea shipping is still the preferred method and as a result, we are likely to see increasingly larger cargo ships being designed and introduced.

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