By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 08.04.2011 at 10:02 am 3 Comments
In the half-century since Malcom McLean, an entrepreneurial former trucker from North Carolina, first began packing freight onto ships in uniform steel boxes, shipping containers have transformed the way we move most of the goods on Earth. As McLean recognized, cargo with consistent dimensions becomes a commodity. Any box can go anyplace on any ship, and therefore can be moved and stored far more cheaply and quickly than cargo that comes in a hodgepodge of shapes and sizes.
By Joshua SaulPosted 07.21.2011 at 2:00 pm 7 Comments
"Barnacle" has become a term for something tenacious and problematic for a reason--they are determined little buggers that cause lots of damage to marine craft. But dealing with barnacles can create even more problems than it solves.
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.15.2011 at 4:03 pm 0 Comments
Every month, some 1,300 ships heading to or from the Suez Canal must pass through the lawless waters off the coast of Somalia. Pirate attacks are at an all-time high—more than 200 have already been reported this year. As of May, pirates were holding more than 500 hostages and 26 hijacked ships, and companies are losing up to $8.3 billion a year.
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.15.2011 at 3:41 pm 0 Comments
The next generation of carrier ships will run on cleaner fuel and less of it. They will transform to optimize performance under different conditions and be more versatile than ever, revolutionizing the way we ship. Explore the latest designs in the gallery below.
Click here to launch a gallery of the newest, most efficient carriers that have been thought up.
What’s next for the system that moves most of the stuff on Earth?
By Rena Marie PacellaPosted 07.07.2011 at 7:48 pm 0 Comments
The basic unit of the global economy is the humble container. Every year, a vast fleet of freighters hauls more than 17 million of them to destinations around the world. Now the ships are getting bigger, the routes are getting better, and the ports are getting smarter than ever before. Oh, and for a longer-term look at the future of shipping, check out Cargotec's plan for Port 2060.
Click the links below to explore how our shipping system is moving into the future.
A new acoustic invisibility cloak made of a plastic metamaterial makes objects invisible to sound waves, researchers say. It could be used to shield ships from sonar, or build better soundproof walls for concert halls and other spaces. We’ve seen this idea before, but now Duke University researchers have actually built it.
Along with causing water droplets to dance (which you can try at home) and protecting hands from liquid nitrogen (which you should definitely not try), the storied Leidenfrost effect can apparently help reduce drag, possibly cutting fuel emissions for cargo ships.
Shell is making good on its promise to build the largest object ever to float on water, announcing Friday it would build the Prelude FLNG Project to harvest offshore natural gas fields. The gargantuan ship will suck up the equivalent of 110,000 barrels of oil per day.
A Navy laser set fire to a small ship bobbing in unruly seas this week, the first at-sea demonstration of one of the Navy’s ray guns.
Check out the Navy’s video of a fire slowly consuming the inflatable boat’s outboard motors.
The Navy's death ray weapon keeps burning through laser records, on its way to the ultimate goal of searing through 2,000 feet of steel per second.
The Free Electron Laser's latest milestone involved running its electron injection system for eight hours at 500 kilovolts. That will help the laser become more powerful and more deadly, as Wired's Danger Room reports.