The Travel Tart
Offbeat Tales From A Travel Addict

Shipping Containers – Why Intrepid Travellers Like Cargo Transport!

If you’re lucky enough to be a full time traveller because you’ve managed to be the recipient of a rather large inheritance or be the beneficiary of a rich family trust, you might have the opportunity to travel overseas via a cargo ship.

I’ve sort of done this – but it was only for a couple of days in the Gulf of Carpentaria in Northern Australia. I actually quite enjoyed it because you notice all sorts of things in the ocean like dolphins jumping off the bow, and flotsam and jetsam such as flip flops that have made their way down from Asia.

For most of the time, it’s actually more expensive to travel via cargo ship than it is to fly to your destination because you’re at sea for weeks and you have to pay your own way, but I guess it’s always an experience!

You might be lucky to land a sport on a massive ship like this to share with a large number of international crew, plus a truckload of shipping containers.

I don’t think you’ll meet any of the cruising stereotypes, have a chance to catch a wave on a Flowrider, or find your towels folded like animals. But you might find them with my boat jokes.

Actually, container ships are a relatively recent innovation. Pretty much all sea cargo before the 1970’s was loaded onto ships piece by piece – a very inefficient way to move stuff around the world. One big reason why globalisation was able to occur was the invention of the shipping container – where things could be loaded into a container ship first, which then enables wharfies at the ports to load individual containers onto the big boats a lot quicker!

Anyway, travelling on a cargo ship looks like a pretty nice way to travel, that is, you manage to score some calm waters like this for most of your journey:

Container Ship

Anyway, these great photos were sent to me via email. I’m not sure how they were taken without smashing some expensive photographic equipment, but they’re great!

Shipping Containers – Why Your Goods May Turn Up Damaged!

I felt a tiny bit sea sick just looking at these photos. The ocean looks completely rough as guts to me!

And I’m sure many people would end up with half of their guts on the wall, ceiling and everywhere else if they were on board!

Cargo Ship

This one looks like the ship is almost completely submerged!

Hugh Waves

This one looks like it’s time to reach for the surfboard!

Shipping Containers - Rough Seas

I think you need to have ‘guts of steel’ on your CV to land a job on one of these!


Anyway, are you still keen to give travelling on a cargo ship a go? Go for your life, and let me know if you still have a stomach left!

If you’re right into this sort of stuff, check out The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger.

Other Silly Posts!


  1. Ian Ian
    February 21, 2015    

    Wow … that is way worse than the ship I just rode to get to the Corn Islands in Nicaragua. I would be on my knees praying to God in seas like that!

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The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out his social media profiles to say hi or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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