A career in maritime freight can be full of surprises. Every so often you can find yourself with a somewhat unusual cargo that might require particular care and attention as it’s transported. We’ve listed here five of the most unusual cargo shipments in maritime shipping.
Animals find their way into shipments more often than you might think. While some animals are transported for conservation projects, such as more than 25,000 sea turtle eggs from Mexico to Florida after an oil spill incident, or as part of an international relocation, others are discovered very much by surprise! In 2010 in New Zealand, a 0.7m boa constrictor was found nestled amongst a shipment of yucca trees. The owner had packed the snake on ice and not declared that any containers held a live animal – it was only when that container started to leak water that the animal was found.
2. National treasures
Priceless ancient monuments can also find themselves in a cargo hold. The 2,200-year-old Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors have found themselves transported around the world on several occasions to various museums for exhibits. These warriors, along with their horses and other artefacts have required the utmost care during their transportation, but such shipping has meant these national treasures have been able to be shared with people around the world who otherwise would have never witnessed them.
The shipping of artwork is again not as unusual as you might first think. Some extremely valuable artwork finds itself shipped on loan for new exhibits at museums, while other artwork is transported as a part of an international removal. Transporting artwork requires specialist knowledge and expertise – particularly for older works of art there often needs to be specialist packaging, temperature control and humidity control.
4. Musical instrument
Musical instruments are often items that many neglect to consider when moving from one country to another. As many airlines have restrictions on instruments that can be brought on board, they often end up transported via maritime shipping. Just as with artwork, instruments require careful and expert packaging, and given their value need to be handled by a shipping operator who knows how to transport such goods.
5. Part of the Titanic
While this was strictly flown by FedEx from Milan, Italy to Atlanta, Georgia for the “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” this cargo involved a massive 3000-pound portion of the ship’s hull. The entire cargo contained 90 tons of artifacts from the vessel and was an amazing feat by the freight operator.
What we might believe to be unusual shipments are often a lot more common than we think. From animals to artwork, shipping companies often have to accommodate these cargos, and need to ensure that they have the right skillsets and expertise to successfully transport them.