More than 90% of the world’s cargo is transported on container ships. In the shipping industry, the containers themselves are often referred to as boxes. Each container can last for about 25 years. After that, they can be recycled into other things like temporary shelters or storerooms. Sometimes, a container can fall off a ship due to extreme weather conditions or poor lashing equipment. Some container vessels are so large that they can only berth at a few special ports in the world. The first ever container ship set sail in 1956. Before that, containers were not standard sized so they could not be easily stacked on top of each other. Today, large container ships can cost more than 250 million US dollars to build. It takes about 25 crew members to operate a container ship. There are about 1.6 million sailors in the world. Once a container ship sets sail, the crew usually have no means to contact their family members unless their vessels dock somewhere along the way. They can be gone from home for months at a time.


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