Largest Shipping Boxes – Containers
This post will touch on a very large shipping box – cargo containers. They travel on all transport types from ships to trucks and even airplanes. They are universal and come in standardized lengths – 20, 40 and 45 feet. The most popular container length is 40 feet. The other measurements are 8 feet for width and 8.5 feet for height. Their average life span is 10 years and there is one new container made every 5 minutes in China. A container is designed to handle up to 20 tons of load and can contain other large shipping boxes inside. Containers stack neatly on top of each other and are held together by a twist lock. There are enough containers on earth now to build an 8-ft high wall which wraps around the Equator twice!
Shipping containers became popular after the World Wars and their usage was made mainstream by a company called Matson. In the 60s Matson had their own containerization program aimed at optimizing workload management, improving turnaround time at the docks and eliminating manual labor. They even went as far as designing and implementing the first portainer also called a gantry crane – a crane designed to safely and quickly move containers from ship to shore and vice versa.
An example of a less popular use of containers which is gaining strength is Container City in London – total of one hundred housing units. They are built from used containers which are stacked on top of each other allowing for windows, nice architectural shapes and even balconies. The original idea was to build temporary offices out of containers which were already too old. Construction was easy since no concrete or bricks are needed and led to a boom of the new building style and a number of upgrades and modern conveniences which now come with them. Heating, water, ventilation etc are standard and judging by the videos – the units appeared cozy and homely. This type of construction has gained recognition and some schools and hospitals were erected this way. An Australian architect has taken the idea to the next step utilizing the containers for temporary buildings and emergency shelter.