around the world in big metal boxes (friday foto finder: transport)


Shipping containers are a common sight at ports the world over, as well as making their way inland on freight trains. These large rectangular boxes are often brightly colored, and, especially when stacked together, look like oversized toy blocks. The enormous cranes that are used for moving these boxes are also a striking sight, resembling strange, gigantic creatures. (Robot dinosaurs, perhaps? There is a claim, sadly debunked, that such cranes inspired the AT-AT walkers of Star Wars.)

I’ve found that my eye (and camera lens) have been drawn to shipping containers and their cranes on numerous occasions during my travels. Here are some shots of them on 3 continents.

First, here are some in the Port of Oakland (Oakland, California, USA) taken in 2008 from a ferry.

Moving westward, we have containers in Hong Kong. (Photos taken from a train heading to the airport in August, 2011. You can see more cranes in Hong Kong, this time in Hong Kong Harbour, on this earlier post.)

Heading westward to Europe, we have the port in Barcelona, Spain. (I took this from up on the Castell de Montjuïc, in September, 2009.)

And for good measure, we’ll return westward to North America once more, this time on the East Coast. These cranes for moving shipping containers were near the airport in Newark, NJ. (I think. This was on my way back home from Hong Kong in 2011. I’m too lazy to look up my old itinerary right now!) These cranes look like they might be at a rail yard.

This week’s friday foto finder challenge was to find something to represent “transport.” With my love of travel by so many different modes of transport, the big challenge was to narrow things down.

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8 responses to “around the world in big metal boxes (friday foto finder: transport)

  1. Woo hoo, more Hong Kong pics!

    BTW, every time I see that pink ferry/”cruise” boat (you know which one I mean), I think of you, Alejna… :)

    • Ha! I am very amused that that eyesore of a ferry makes you think of me! You remind me that I still really haven’t posted about that godawful harbour cruise…

  2. First thing I thought of was “The Wire.” Season 2 hinged on a discovery in shipping containers.

    • It’s so great to hear from you, R!

      I’ve actually never seen “The Wire.” I’ve heard it’s an outstanding show. You make me curious about the shipping container plot.

  3. What a great choice of subject. I see so many of those containers, not only on wharves but on trucks on roads. I never thought of them in respect to transport. My eyes have been opened.

  4. I just rewatched all four seasons of The Wire. For about the third or fourth time. Yes, it’s that good.

    Love the oversized toy blocks mention as I always think of that too.

    My means of transport this week is much more rustic…
    http://azahar.me/2013/06/28/friday-foto-finder-transport/

  5. I love these and I love shipping containers too. They remind me of the mall built from them in Christchurch.

  6. These are great shots. I am always interested when I see those big shipping containers. :) (Also, sorry I’m so late to respond. I’ve gotten behind.)

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