latest blog entriesJanuary 20, 2020
HOW MANY SHIPPING CONTAINERS ARE THERE IN THE WORLD?
Just think how many goods are shipped around the world in steel shipping containers every day. Most commodities will have seen the inside of a container at some point in the production process, whether the materials or the finished products themselves were shipped across the seas by container ship. It’s estimated that over 90% of all goods in the world are shipped by container ship, mostly from China to elsewhere around the globe. Businesses and consumers alike are probably unaware of just how much we rely on these humble steel structures.
However, because these shipping containers are mostly owned by different shipping and logistics companies and there’s no global authority tasked with keeping track of how many are produced and scrapped each year, there are no definitive figures to indicate just how many shipping containers there are on Earth.
It has been estimated that there are currently over 40 million shipping containers in the world, with several million in transit at any one time. And that’s probably a conservative estimate. One thing’s for sure: as container ships increase in size, this number will only get higher. The largest ships
currently serving on our seas can accommodate over 20,000 TEU (20-foot containers).
So, to sum it up, there’s no way to be completely sure how many shipping containers currently exist in the world. But we can be sure that it’s a lot.