Largest Container Ship In The World

The Maersk Triple-E vessels are the largest shipping container ships in the world and there are several design reasons why.

Ok not going down the route of the obvious being “its bigger” but there are some design features including the altering of the hull shape to allow more cargo to get carried as its designed to go slow and work more efficiently. Sacrificing some aerodynamics to gain space at the same time the ship is designed for load not speed.

Maersk Triple-E vessel hull

Maersk Triple-E vessels

I think when Maersk started looking at the Triple-E vessel they were realising the world markets were changing and being more efficient doesn’t just lead to reduced running costs but adapting with a changing market. Going bigger than other large container ships that it has in its fleet while getting running costs down have been a major feat in the success of the Triple-E vessel.

Maersk Triple-E vessels

Another interesting feature of the Triple-E vessel the largest container ship in the world is that as speed is not its primary goal optimisation of its fuel use has taken more of a priority and they actually utilise the exhaust gases to make more energy making it one of the most efficient ships on the planet.

What many people don’t realise is due to the scale of ships the faster they go the bigger the Co2 problem becomes. Not in that 1 knot = 1 pollution but as you increase in speed the problem of Co2 emissions magnify to a much larger scale. Making a ship that runs at lower speeds and more efficiently reduces this problem and this is partly why the Triple-E vessel has become a world class leader in efficient shipping. What this realistically means that we are seeing on average a 50% reduction in Co2 per container moved from Asia to Europe.

The worlds largest container ship Co2 emission comparison against other transportation.

  • The Maersk Triple-E vessel has 3g of Co2 per container per 1 Km.
  • Average train has 18g per 1km Co2 emissions per container moved.
  • Truck 47g of Co2 emissions per 1km travelled per shipping container.
  • Airplane 560g of Co2 emissions per 1km travelled.

All in all you can see why shipping is one of the most efficient ways to transport goods but also why the largest shipping container in the world is also extremely green.

I can’t live in a container home.

One of the most common statements when talking about shipping container homes is I can’t live in a container but why?

I started to look into social media and how things have changed over the years. I believe we now occupy three times if not more space than we used to but do we need to is never asked? We are told we need a bigger house, bigger car, an ipad,computer,laptop and yet nobody stops to say won’t one do the job?

Won’t a computer do the job of the iPad and laptop? Or more importantly would the laptop keep you mobile and do away with the other two? tie that in with a dongle and Skype you don’t need a phone anymore either.

We are living in the cluttered age not modern. a 60” plasma is wanted or needed yet I confess I owned 2 plasma TV’s in my last UK home yet you know how many hours I watched TV on them? answer is zero as I use my computer. This is why we can live in a container and yet many people can’t even see the benefits of the wake up call.

One plasma is fine in a container home as it hangs on the wall. There is no way you would need 2! Computer you have to think of its space and very likely to go down the route of a laptop and generally this is how people living in a container think. Do I need it and what is the best option?

But those who say no way I can’t live in a shipping container I bet they find their credit cards often maxed out and they always seem to have more stuff than they have space for it. Not a nag at them as simply this is a consumerist society that is always telling us this is the way life should be.

Funny now though as the combustion engine car is starting to feel the pain of oil prices or more importantly we are. The U.S. still struggles to find cars under 4.0 litre engines yet most of the rest of the world has done just fine for at least 50 years. Fact is times are a changing and the population is growing at a rate that really it shouldn’t be.

We need more space where I say we need to use what we have better. We need to get to A to B and have  a right to a car where I say can you work from home some days and actually have a better quality of life and be more productive?

All in all those who think they can’t live in a container will eventually find that costs are going to see people starting to think smaller in some form. Be it land taxes, heating or cooling. Everything is on the downward spiral of getting expensive.

All Quiet On The Shipping Container Home Front?

With a lot of things going on lately its been difficult to get on with the blog as we have had a lot of visitors. At the same time we have had an increasing amount of interest in shipping container housing which has started me looking at fabrication rather than recycling here in Cebu,Philippines due to one major issue the shipping containers here are holding a high value which can make fabrication of new containers cheaper. At the moment we are in the assessment stages but also we are looking at purchasing some land for another project. If the land deal goes through though it may actually give us some working space for the first unit to be constructed and test some of my theories.

Back in the UK a lot of the issues relating to the climate and other problems are extremely different to the Philippines. For a start we are reversing from heating to cooling but also we generally only construct for a lifespan of 10 years in the UK as the container buildings are designed for temporary use only. Doesn’t mean they will fall apart as some have been standing for over 30 years already but does mean that construction methods need to be looked at and assessments of materials properly. Paints, woods, metals all have to be assessed that they aren’t going to break down over a period of time. Which isn’t normally a problem in the UK market as a guarantee actually guarantees something but here in the Philippines its not so cut and dry and making sure things aren’t going to fail takes time and research.

But I am sure we will get there in the end, the project was never something we wanted to rush into but more importantly was something originally for discussion and idea debate. Getting the right sort of methods could be not only a lucrative business, a home but also a solution to sustainable housing issues within the Philippines islands and other countries.

2x 20ft Shipping Container Livable Apartment Size.

  Size doesn’t matter springs to mind in conversation but often it does in some strange way. Mainly because people don’t realise how much space they aren’t using or more importantly how much electric, cooling,heating they waste for floor space they don’t actually need. Here is the joke though this is the apartment I work from and rent out to tenants, none of which have ever complained about size if anything its bigger than a lot of apartments of the same budget :-

apartment bedroom

We decided to keep it as a studio type (no central wall) to help keep the air flowing as well as giving extra space when needed. There is actually now a wardrobe I built covering the electrical box in the corner to the bed, giving a lot of extra storage space. But as you can see there is even space for an extra sofa bed.

apartment sitting room

Now this is where its funny as you can see the sitting room area isn’t actually being utilised as generally people sit on the sofa bed and watch TV in what would be the bedroom. an 8ft by 10ft floor area not being used.

apartment kitchen

A galley styled kitchen keeps things simple but has everything that people generally need. This is the Philippines so microwave food doesn’t exist so neither does the need for a microwave. Bearing in mind I will add more shelving at the end of the kitchen above the refrigerator for the dry goods.

Well what is the point to all this nice look round an apartment but its not a shipping container?

Fact is I was sat working up here the other night and realised something its smaller than 2 x 20ft containers. But I guess if I did the same with a shipping container and gave more space I bet people would say its “too small” simply because they knew it was made from shipping containers. Yet this has been rented out for over 2 years now with several tenants the last leaving a couple of weeks ago while the next arrives in 2 weeks. Not one person has ever said “its too small”.

A bit of a plus on the shipping container side as simply people have been living in spaces smaller than 2x20ft containers but didn’t even realise. In construction terms though here in the Philippines you could build the same sized home with containers for less than P300,000 can’t give an exact figure simply because container prices fluctuate. But your containers come in at around P60,000 – P100,000 each (big price variance).

Charity pressures councils over million empty homes

This is an odd thing in the UK as there is thousands of houses left empty and the worst offender is the government. Failed regeneration schemes, buying out of buildings for other reasons as well as empty caretaker and other ex use homes from past government posts are laying empty all over the place. Working inside the government housing sector before previously the issues are often more complex than they seem.

First issues are many have been left empty for years meaning for them to be utilized by government for social housing it would require considerable investment for any property due to the strict regulations. E.g. rewiring, re-plumbing,renewing the gas installation including all pipework, renewing bathrooms and kitchens over 25 years old etc. etc. these are all part of “politics”. You see what happened is people started to set housing standards that the government past on to its social housing these standards in general cannot be met for multiple reasons the main one being cash flow but also the quality of tenants isn’t great but their expectations and needs have increased.

What happens then is this situation where councils have properties they can neither renovate or rent out and although some of its down to stupidity often more than not its more to do with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. I remember an allocated property lot we received from the Royal Air Force for the housing association I was contracted with at the time. They had specific requirements to be brought up to standard yet even the basics were behind coming from another department. E.g. Our guideline is no more than 25 years on a kitchen or bathroom yet every property we received hadn’t had any major work done for at least 35 many still had coal bunkers and exterior toilets. Although they had a new bathroom installed at some point (still well past 35 years ago) which gave them a toilet indoors you get the picture of the state of these homes.

Why is this all relevant to shipping container homes your wondering? It shows the madness of society we live in where there is so much red tape and legislation that even the government creates problems for itself which also means getting your shipping container home through planning may be an initial battle. BUT the important thing here is the more people push through the more acceptable it becomes and the more people can do it. Personally I think there are many developments the social housing sector could benefit from using shipping container homes themselves as a long-term solution if not short-term for the housing shortages in the UK.

The other way to look at it is most of these houses are old and rundown the investment into them would be extremely costly and a stalemate is currently what we are seeing. Often its easier to rip out and start again rather than renovate and the shipping containers are a cheap option to the solution.

Yes this gets away from the green solutions but there are very few options open for these homes currently not in use and over 2 million families regardless as homeless in the UK but its a thing to ponder on how would you fix the problem?

Living In A Shipping Container–The Right Type Of People

the wrong crowd

The thing with shipping container homes is you will either get a “that’s cool” or you must be mad type of comment from the people around you. But myself I consider myself one of the right type of people for a shipping container home and I will explain why.

Initially through my first years of leaving school and struggling through college I was having to make do and maximise my cash flow sometimes would be a case of down to the last few pounds (UK money) and then buying something I could then sell later to make more money. Over the years this developed where I was cashing in my salary at the end of the week selling goods all weekend before putting money back in the bank on Monday.

This isn’t thrifty but it does go against the grain as we are told we should have the latest clothes, expensive car, nice house etc. the fact is everything is based around consumer spending and increasing personal debt. I will give a simple example of what I mean if you take a rawl plug its pushed on all the DIY shows as the way to hang a shelf etc but does anyone talk about a whittled piece of wood you just hammer in the hole and snap the head off? Something that is free, doesn’t damage the environment and most of the time actually does a better job due to a tighter fit? Of course not you go down to hardware store and buy the bits and pieces we are told are “right for the job”. The removing of thought from most things has been on going for some time.

Now for me I spend most of my life up and down financially as even when I was with my ex partner and having a great salary her expenditure was a struggle to control. We had the house, the car, 5 horses, ate out most of the time etc.

My salary then was around ten times greater than most of the people I knew from school and generally it was gone at the end of the month due to everything being on finance to keep up with my ex’s desire to compete with the neighbours. But here is what changed.

I left after a problem in the relationship and within the first month I had already saved nearly £3,000 even though was still burdened by debt left over from the relationship. How? because I didn’t eat out and if I did it was lunch time at work that meant my night time meal wasn’t a big curry take out but often was even skipped if not something simple. I began cooking more and at the same time because I had regained my financial control I started to use my remainder at the end of the month for paying off huge chunks of debt instead of thinking “hey lets party!”.

I began to get debt free to the point where I am today living in a completely debt free environment on the other side of the world in the Philippines. If anything I have learned we don’t need most of the stuff we are told are “essential” or this years big item! Even in the U.S. people are waking up to the fact they are sold lies daily and the American dream has changed including the idealism of consumerism. They have realised the last iPhone didn’t enhance their lives so generally don’t buy the new mobile because its irrelevant except as a fashion accessory. That’s all part and parcel of living in a shipping container because its not about “getting by” but actually taking control of your life.

Here in the Philippines Christmas is celebrated by church masses and giving food to neighbours the giving of presents is something being leaked in from the U.S. but thank god most people haven’t bought into it. Personally I actually tell people not to buy me gifts but instead save their money. Not because I am too tight to buy for others but simply most of the time people buy stuff for each other they neither need or want. I would rather someone took the cash and paid off a bit of their credit card because that’s a Christmas gift that keeps giving and not only makes me happy but also helps them get debt free.

This is how it gets on to the right type of people for Shipping container homes as its often down to what people want and need in life. There has been a lot of interest in the single mother living in a shipping container home she built for less than $4,000 but in reality it was her financial restraints that led her into this type of life. For others its being environmental,minimalistic or wanting control of their own lives. For me its a case of minimalist living and being debt free while achieving home ownership. Its not for everyone which is why people either get it or don’t.

 

Why Live In A Shipping Container Home?

The initial problem with a shipping container home is getting over the hurdle that its not just a shipping container but can be adapted for home use. I have worked in several industries that involve travel. The issue with that is you get used to living with pretty much everything you need in a bag and its when you get to that scale of things you realise how much stuff people have but don’t really need.

When I looked at the $4,000 shipping container home in the U.S. owned by a single mother you quickly can see why she did it. Ok she didn’t want to work full-time at the same time its difficult to do with kids anyway. In reality though she has adapted her budget to fit a home and its only in the last 20 years has this obsession been going on to get bigger without reason. Why? because it drove the fake housing boom market through the roof until it all fell apart like lemmings running off a cliff people became obsessed with making money on homes yet there were less and less people coming in at the bottom end of the market which then collapses the whole chain. This happens due to the “Refurbishment” housing people that quickly rip out old, replace with new and sell on with added profit. Do this with enough people you price out the bottom people on the ladder to the point many gave up even trying to get a first home. I know I wasn’t interested in tieing myself down with a 25 year debt for a house that cost three times as much as it was less than 10 years earlier.

Shipping container homes from a budget point of view are a banks worse nightmare. Only loan you may need initially is for land as its likely you will just develop the home yourself in your spare time. This knocks of literally years of debt you would have had going via a bank loan giving you more freedom and better cash flow. Mix in the general running costs of heating,cooling,lighting on a smaller scale property your also reducing your footprint which also lines the pockets with more money. If anything you are probably going to spend more time outside than you would in a conventional home which is also a lot healthier.

I really do struggle to see a downside on doing a shipping container home especially when I see so many people burned with the housing market crash quickly followed by the recessions that have been on going ever since. Being debt free the ability to survive the current trend is a lot easier than riddled with debt with a bigger mortgage than the building is worth.

Dumb Lawsuits On “Pop Up Mall” For Shipping Container Development

Re:START Shipping Container Mall

To be honest this really annoys me the fact that as part of Re:START a project is being sued in Christchurch New Zealand after a pop up shopping mall was installed. Why? for breach of intellectual property rights interesting concept considering that its “shipping containers!” its not even a new idea as shipping container malls have been in existence in third world countries as well as other locations for some time. But this doesn’t stop the owners of Boxpark Mall out of London from trying to coin the idea as their own. On top of the fact the concept is not new Christchurch in New Zealand has done this project as part of getting life back to normality after an earthquake that killed 166 people but let that not get in the way of the developers of Boxpark Mall. Personally I would say boycott Boxpark Mall if your in London as this intellectual property nonsense has got out of control on a lot of things where people assume they can just sue and get away with bullying their way through life.

Shipping Container Homes Threatened As Western Trade Declines?

Maersk Ship Shipping Exports

This is a bit of an odd scenario to be in as I have been hearing for the last year about shortages of shipping containers in specific areas. But now we are starting to see the downsizing of trade and ships taking goods from Asia into Europe with Maersk as well as other companies cutting 20% of its capacity between the regions and no doubt as things continue to worsen that will reduce further.

This does put at risk the shipping container home movement as obviously the less containers to go around, the less viable shipping container homes because of containers starting to maintain a value and the scale of imports and exports may actually improve due to the growth in Asian economies, as people start to want more European products as things level out.

The green movement will no doubt approve of the decline at the same time those just wanting an affordable home may need more convincing.

The Shipping Container Excess Only Blessing Out Of The Economic Collapse Of The West?

I think the shipping container is an odd beast when it comes to the excess the West has had on imports from the East at the same time not only is it part of the problem stacked up in ports as a symbol of excess but also its part of the solution if developed into housing because it takes a minimalist concept for most home developers.

In reality we see the collapse of economies riddled with debt right now yet the solution always comes back to “stop spending!” there is no easy fix. Shipping container homes are a home you can’t clutter up with a TV in every room as often you only have one room. You don’t buy new furniture every year as generally you find things that suit “you” not the fashion trends and just generally the shipping container home pushes the fact we are living in a world of excess that we really don’t need.

When I am working in the UK I literally have two bags with me which is my work gear, laptop and casual clothes pretty much that’s it besides the vehicle I use. I live for up to 8 months of the year like that I don’t starve, I don’t run out of things to do but what happens is I am surprisingly mobile and have a lot of excess income because I don’t buy things I don’t need.

It was living like this that put me into minimal living and the shipping container homes as simply its achievable not only for me but many other people who know how to use the environment around them. Sitting out gazing at the stars instead of sat in the house watching a soap opera. Spending time dining out with friends instead of eating a microwave meal in the kitchen.

I personally think the excess shipping containers that are now starting to dwindle away in areas due to the rise of container housing and other uses as well as reduced surplus is a good thing long term if people start changing their habits. As a child I remember one TV in the house and generally I spent a lot of time with my family, as I grew older though I spent my time in my bedroom, my brothers in theirs, my sister in hers and my parents in the sitting room. If anything the excess of current living has divided the family and its about time things started to function again as a family unit and I am sure shipping container home families are no doubt happier than many others out there in normal homes purely because of the way they choose to live outside the box and not be driven by consumerism and do take the time to spend life in the outdoors as well as an affordable home.