Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Shipping Containers (Part 1)

We’ve talked a lot in this blog about all the different creative and innovative ways that shipping containers are being used around the world. But how much do you actually know about shipping containers?

We’ve noted down some of the most fascinating facts…how many did you know?

Fun Fact #1

The genius mind behind the very first shipping container was an American man called Malcolm McLean. He came up with the idea of a metal shipping container back in 1956, wanting to replace the old style of break bulk method of container handling. Having worked as a trucker for many years, he believed that the wooden shipping containers were unreliable and ineffective.

Cargo distribution

Fun Fact #2

As of 2014, statistics reported that there were just over 17million shipping containers in the whole world. From this figure, it’s believed that around 6 million of them are being transported – whether by ocean, trains or trucks. Did you know that around 95% of the world’s cargo is transported by container ships?

 Fun Fact #3

Around 10,000 shipping containers are sadly lost at sea every single year. If you do the maths, it works out as one container going missing every hour. So why do so many go missing and what happens to them? Whilst we might never know what happens to all of them, a lot are reported as being damaged by the waves and sinking rather quickly.

Fun Fact #4

Shipping containers can last for up to 20 years when they are used for their original purpose – as storage. However, if they have been properly maintained and are used in a way that keeps them stationary, they can actually last for a lot longer than this! This is good news for those looking to use them to make homes or other creative buildings.

mountain house, interior

Fun Fact #5

The biggest shipping container community in the world is located in Amsterdam. The Keetwonen student housing complex is bigger than anything seen so far! It has around one thousand apartments, each made from forty foot long shipping containers – and made entirely of glass to let in lots of light.

It also contains offices, supermarkets and a cafe – all made with shopping containers.


Fascinating right?! Keep checking back as we have only just scratched the surface when it comes to interesting and random shipping container facts.

Not only do we specialise in steel containers here at Flintham Cabins, we also provide high quality site accommodation in London, which is perfect for whole array of projects and functions.

For more information, please contact us on 020 8459 6972 and a member of our professional and friendly team will be happy to help you out.

Alternatively, feel free to reach us over on Twitter too.

This entry was posted in Steel Containers. Bookmark the permalink.