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It’s without a doubt that over all of the years international shipping has been around, some unusual, interesting, and downright strange cargo is likely to have been shipped – but not all of it is discovered. However, there are a few that are found one way or the other, and so here at Barrington Freight, we’re taking a look at some of the most memorable Cargo to have ever been shipped.

Boa Constrictor

Transporting animals via land, sea or air is not an unusual concept by any means, but in 2010 in Auckland, New Zealand it most definitely was where this particular cargo was concerned. It was water leaking from one of the containers that drew an inspector’s attention to this particular crate, and after opening the container doors they were in for quite the shock. A 70-centimeter long boa constrictor was found, and it was later discovered that the snake’s owner had packed the boa in ice among the yucca trees that were also there, and not declared that the container contained a live animal.

The space shuttle ‘Discovery’

This particular situation was most certainly a memorable and mesmerising one. Discovery was positioned on the back of an aircraft and tied down, only to be flown from Florida to Washington to be displayed in the collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. It was the light flight to its now permanent home, and the sight was most definitely one to behold and to be remembered.

Bath Toys

While a shipment of bath toys themselves isn’t an unusual cargo, the toys from a Chinese manufacturer meant for The First Years, Inc. were definitely memorable. The ‘Friendly Floatees’ collection included ducks, frogs, beavers and turtles, and the 28,800 strong collection was lost in its container when the Ever Laurel, it’s container ship, encountered a storm in the North Pacific Ocean in January 1992. The plastic toys were soon found washing up on beaches all over the world including Hawaii, Alaska, South America, Australia, and even as far as the arctic. With around 200 of these toys sill floating in the sea, it’s no wonder that they’ve quickly become a collector’s item, easily making them one of the most memorable cargos ever to have been shipped.

Illegal Weapons

While shipments of illegal weapons might not sound particularly uncommon or memorable, the contents of a shipping container found in December 2013 certainly caused a stir. The Bond-esque contents included stun guns disguised as iPhones and torches, over 200 replica pistols, and tear gas disguised as lipstick tubes. But the effort put into disguising the items was clearly for the consumer and not for the shipping, because every box was clearly printed and labelled!

An Ecosystem

While the contents of the container originally was nothing more than 1,159 tires, it’s the contents found years after it being lost at sea that caught the attention of its discoverer. The container sunk in February 2004 and was discovered four months later, and in Mach 2011, scientists from California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) returned to the sunken container. Inside they found a beautiful, fully functioning underwater reef. What makes this memorable, however, isn’t so much the discovery, but the research that was launched and funded into lost shopping containers and their effect on the environment.

For more information on cargo and shipping, please feel free to get in touch via our contact us page.

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Barrington Freight Ltd,
Bowden House,
Luckyn Lane, Basildon,
Essex SS14 3AX