Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Most Interesting Cargo Ever Shipped

In 2010 in Aukland, New Zealand there was a very unusual discovery.  A 70 centimeters boa constrictor (a large heavy-bodied species of snake) loaded with yucca trees was found on a vessel that departed from Guatemala.  The inspector decided to check inside a container that was leaking water.  Once the container doors opened they were in for a surprise, as a snake is not something you see on board a vessel everyday.  For sure this must have been one of the most unpleasant moments of that inspector's life.  It was later found that the owner had packed the boa in ice, and not indicated on the container or declared in the papers that it contained a live animal.

Not all unusual cargo shipped will be as dangerous as snakes or hazardous chemicals. For example in a recent oil spill incident in the Gulf Region in 2010, more than 25,000 sea turtles eggs were shipped from northern Mexico to the eastern Florida coast in order to protect the wild life.

Another strange thing was transported between 2005 and 2006 from Taipei, Taiwan to Georgia Aquarium in the United States is two female and two male whale sharks.  The whale sharks, named Ralph, Norton, Alice and Trixie flew 8000 miles to get their new home, the Geogia Aquarium.  Even though the whole project sounds pretty cute and sweet considering the size of these animals the logistics of such move is highly complex. Let's not forget that these are huge animals and this project must require an incredible amount of planning and logistics knowledge.  Actually, the whales were not the only species delivered to the acquarium; they also shipped 42 containers holding smaller aquatic animals.

Not only animals are part of unusual shipped cargos, there can also be priceless ancient monuments.  Recently 2,200 year old Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors, horses and other artifacts were shipped from Shanghai to four U.S. Museums.  The Terra Cotta Warriors will be shipped back to Shanghai once their work is done in the U.S.

The last and the most interesting one is not shipped internationally but it is the most amazing one the space shuttle Discovery was shipped from Florida to Washington to join the collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.  The Space shuttle was positioned onto the back of an aircraft, which was its last flight to its permanent home in the Smithsonian.

PUBLISHED BY:  Shipping News and Views 
                              Feray Yuksekbas Kavas

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