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Old Posted Jun 3, 2007, 7:26 PM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
Submarine de Nucléar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Portland
Posts: 4,465
Originally Posted by 65MAX View Post
That's interesting. But aren't the Chinese then using way too much steel by not reusing the containers they make? Steel takes a lot of energy to produce. It seems like they would hit a cost benefit ratio at some point, where it costs more to produce new container units than it does to import empty containers from the US.
You'd think... but it's all dependent upon the shipping companies actually taking empty boxes back (not too many US mfgr companies selling goods to China), which they basically don't do.

So we're stuck with millions of discarded metal boxes that are incredibly structurally sound. We could literally build a Seattle each year (metro) from the waste...

Originally Posted by samoen313 View Post
They are, however, surprisingly expensive to clean up properly. I was working on a project that was to use shipping containers and, at least the old ones, contain so much toxic paint and have been filled with so much toxic material, it often makes them almost unfeasible to use. But not always, as you can imagine. They ruled them out for a number of New Orleans reconstruction projects because, though they intially thought it would be an economical solution to housing reconstruction, they were very sore upon finding the actual cost to clean each one up (it was something ridiculous like five times the cost of each container). Anyway, just a little tidbit.
Interesting, and to think that's where most of the stuff we buy gets shipped inside of!
Hopefully they have stopped using toxic paint, but I bet they don't - maybe has something to do with prevention of salt corrosion?
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