The global shipping industry is facing one of its most significant spikes in lost containers in seven years. At least 3,000 containers were lost at sea last year, and year-to-date, more than 1,000 have fallen overboard, according to Bloomberg.
Stretched global supply chains are forcing ship operators to stack truck-size intermodal containers to the brim in a technique called containerization. Some vessels, such as the notorious "Ever Given," can carry upwards of 20,000 containers, while other large containerships can carry around 9,000 containers.
"Shipping containers piled high on giant vessels are toppling over at an alarming rate, sending millions of dollars of cargo to the bottom of the ocean as pressure to speed deliveries raises the risk of safety errors. The situation has grown more dangerous because of extra stress on supply chains since the pandemic," said Bloomberg.
A combination of factors has been responsible for increasing lost containers, including overloading, unpredictable weather, and human error.