Saturday, December 5, 2020


The multi-decker ship is still around; not every port is equipped to receive the container, whose benefits are mostly enjoyed when it arrives full and ideally for one receiver. But how many (full-container) shoes or laptops do we need in some small island states in the Caribbean or South Pacific?

When the multi-decker was the norm, however, i.e. before the arrival of the containership, cargohandling (photo) could take weeks if not months. To be a seafarer in those days was great fun and when the captain would set foot on land, the coffee shop in his native island, somewhere in the Aegean Sea, was packed every morning by islanders who would come to listen to his stories from the four corners of the earth.

Today, the containership is turned around in 48 hours and the port itself is most probably many miles away from downtown. There's thus neither time nor mood to just take a bus (if there is one) and go there even for a short visit.

(my 'gigantism in container shipping and ports' little book, one of the most widely read texts in maritime literature ever (21,000 downloads) is still available gratis here: