Not really comforting …

This picture isn’t really comforting if you’re shipping all your worldly goods in a container to Panama or elsewhere!

The ship in the photo ran aground which caused this grand shift in containers, and lost about 900 containers off the coast of New Zealand The average number of containers lost may be higher, or lower, than what you’d expect. According to the World Shipping Council …

Combining the results of the two WSC surveys over the six year period from 2008 to 2013, the WSC estimates that there were on average 546 containers lost at sea each year, not counting catastrophic events, and on average a total of 1,679 containers lost at sea each year including
catastrophic events.

The data demonstrates that container losses in any particular year can vary quite substantially based on differences in weather and based on the extent to which there may be one or more catastrophic vessel losses. For example, in 2011 (the year of the loss of the M/V Rena) there was a total annual loss of 1,514 containers. In 2012, there was a total loss of 958 containers. In 2013, there was a total loss of 5,578 containers – 77% of which occurred with the sinking of the MOL Comfort in the Indian Ocean.

Some folks when they move to Panama pack up much of the furniture and stuff of their lives, shove it into a container and bring it along. We did that because it was “our stuff”, stuff we liked, and things that had symbolic importance. Nikki and I brought most of our professional libraries which we have since dumped, sold, or given away, knowing that twice as many books as we brought with us can now reside on Nikki’s Kindle. When we came it was tough to find the type and quality of furniture we were used to in the States. It’s different now. One of the things we do on the Panama Relocation Tour is to spend an hour at one of the malls in David, not to shop, but to do a quick walk through and see that most of what you’d want if you moved with just a few suitcases, is now available in David. And anything you’d want is available in Panama City.

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