Container ship entering the Kiel Canal

Article (and video): Rose George on the secret world of shipping

I have been waiting for Rose George’s book, Ninety Percent of Everything, to be issued in Kindle format. In the mean time, I’ve had to content myself with The Box and The Docks, both concerned with aspects of world wide containerised shipping. I also found this TED video of a talk given by Rose George, covering material in her book.

[ted id=1887]

The first chapter of Ninety Percent of Everything appears on the Longreads Blog, and I enjoyed it immensely. The author sets the scene for a voyage on a Maersk container ship by outlining the history and current state of (containerised) shipping. I found it more substantial (which can partly be explained by their differing purposes) than Donovan Hohn’s account of a trip on a container ship.

George goes into some detail about Maersk, the Danish (yay!) shipping company that is largely invisible to us on a day to day basis, but has annual revenues comparable to those of Microsoft. South Africa makes an unfortunate cameo in the chapter as George refers to the lawlessness of the high seas (see The Outlaw Sea for more on that), illustrated by the utterly shameful case of Akhona Geveza on board a Safmarine ship.

Read the full article (chapter!) here.

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Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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