3 MAPS TO MAKE SENSE OF INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING

We often see the ‘Made in China’ label, but rarely understand what that means.

We sat down and simplified International Shipping. Here are the only 3 photos you need to have a basic understanding of how it works.

  1. Manufacturing

Manufacturers produce massive quantities of items to meet domestic and international demand. Once finished, the items are packaged and loaded into containers for shipping.

Factory.OverviewSM.jpgCourtesy of: Dutakharisma.com

  1. Shipping

Massive cargo ships are loaded by machine with standard-sized containers, before leaving port for their next destination.

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Courtesy of: Sciencemag.org

  1. Consuming

Once the items have arrived, they are unloaded and distributed to businesses and eventually sold-on to consumers.

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Courtesy of: Bulgariamall.bg

The Dumpster Project – Leaving in a Container

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image via en.wikipedia.org

Have you ever heard of ‘the Dumpster Project’? It is a project created by environmental studies professor and dean at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, Dr. Jeff Wilson. On February 4, 2015, Professor Wilson has moved to a dumpster container where he plans to stay for about one year. In his words, the Dumpster Project is ‘an experiment to test the absolute limit if you can be happy and healthy in a very small space’. Not only. According to the project website the purpose of this experiment is to experience an eco-friendly lifestyle that could bring benefits to a planet where the population is steadily increasing and living space decreases more and more year after year. In this regard, while the average dimensions of an American home are about 2,480 square feet, minster Wilson’s brand new house is 33 square feet big.

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image via laughingsquid.com

It is true that Professor Wilson will be living in a container for a year, but what is also true is that this container is modern and fully furnished. Indeed, it features solar panels to generate electricity, high efficiency toilets, a weather station, air conditioning, a sloping roof, locks and a mailbox. Of course, Wilson is not suggesting everyone to live this way, but it is proving that it is possible to live in smaller spaces. Moreover, through the Dumpster Project, his main goal is to encourage debates on sustainable way of living.

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image via wgrd.com

You don’t need to be so radical. Living in a container house can be much more comfortable and unique than you ever thought. At SMC we also deal with container houses. Visit our website and do not hesitate to make contact us.

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Stefano// SMC Editor

Container Greenhouses – The Urban Organic Heaven

What if you wanted to eat locally produced and reasonably priced fresh organic fruits and vegetables during cold winter? Now it is possible, thanks to shipping containers.

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Companies such as Freight Farms and PodPonics have introduced a new business model that converts second hand shipping containers into high-quality greenhouses that can be relocated almost everywhere. Every shipping container is manufactured according to ISO standards and they are also designed to be stacked into multiple layers. This enables the establishment of even bigger greenhouse complexes.

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One major advantage of container farms is that now farms can be located closer to the places where the food will be eaten. Thereby, say, restaurants can minimize their shipping costs and still offer their customers fresh and high quality food. Also the technology associated with the business ensures a safe plantation of fruits, herbs and vegetables.

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Damien Chivialle‘s model of urban farm units (UFU) has a system that uses live fishes and to to fertilize and recycle the farms water. Every container has a fish tank whose water flows in a closed circuit. The fish feces are broke into pieces that are utilized as fertilizers. The system also produces some methane for the farms secondary energy source. (source)

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Also PodPonics’ solution is said to use 90 % less water because the water is recycled. The roots grow in water, not in soil. This solution minimizes the use of fertilizers and enables the adding of nutrients only as needed (source). PodPonics’ and Freight Farms control systems can both be operated with a smart phone.

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The use of shipping containers as green houses seems to enhance the nutritional values of vegetables, herbs and fruits. It also enables companies to produce them closer to the people who end up eating them. Because of a really low Co2 footprint and lack of pesticides, urban farms create ultimate food safety. Now this food safety can also be enjoyed by average consumers because the cost of maintenance of urban farms seem to be feasible. For example PodPonics’ containers cost US 1800 to 2800 depending on their condition (source).

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In order to establish an urban farm, shipping containers need to be purchased. Shanghai Metal Corporation is a reliable provider of internationally standardized shipping containers. More information can be found on our website (http://www.smccontainer.com). Please also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You can also download our mobile application by scanning the QR code below.

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Tuomas P. // SMC Editor

Pictures and original articles: Singularityhub, Designboom, Forbes, Overgrow the System, Pando Daily, Motionpictures blog