UN: Ships Need to Shut Up So Whales and Dolphins Can Hear

The noises made by the gargantuan boats that move our stuff from one continent to another are ruining marine life. So, this week, new regulations have been issued by the International Maritime Organization, the sea-faring agency of the United Nations, asking shipping companies to turn down the volume. » 4/07/14 4:00pm 4/07/14 4:00pm

Shipping Containers Lost at Sea and the Search for Flight 370

Just how many large mysterious objects can there be floating at sea? That's what many of us have wondered after the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines 370 turned up piece after piece of ocean trash. The search for flight 370 has focused our attention on empty patches of ocean and, in the process, shed light on… » 4/02/14 1:40pm 4/02/14 1:40pm

See the Global Shipping Revolution In These Beautiful Ocean Maps

The global shipping industry has completely transformed our world: Today, 90 percent of everything in your life arrives via cargo ship. These two maps prove just how dramatically international trade has increased, by comparing the oceans of the 19th century with those of the late 20th. » 4/02/14 10:40am 4/02/14 10:40am

The Simple Metal Mechanism That Changed the Global Economy Forever

Have you ever heard of a twistlock? Unless you're a stevedore, probably not. Yet this little mechanism is what makes it possible to stack shipping containers onto cargo ships larger than city blocks—enabling a global trade network that brought most of your belongings to your doorstep. And we have a relatively… » 2/26/14 10:00am 2/26/14 10:00am

Rolls-Royce Is Designing Giant Drone Ships to Sail the High Seas

Believe it or not, sailors are a big drag on shipping vessels. They weigh down the ship, take up space, cost thousands of dollars a day, and even cause most of the accidents at sea. So it's no surprise that Rolls-Royce's maritime division wants to replace them with robots. » 2/25/14 3:40pm 2/25/14 3:40pm

UPS Botch Your Christmas Deliveries? Amazon Has $20 for You

Didn't get your last last last minute gifts from Amazon delivered on time? Neither did a lot of other folks. Between weather and high demand, UPS choked. But there's good news: $20 Amazon gift cards are on the way to the afflicted. » 12/26/13 3:55pm 12/26/13 3:55pm

How Your Christmas Presents Were Shipped—As Seen in Clouds From Space

Today's as good a day as any to ponder how massive amounts of stuff gets moved around the world. iPhones from China, sweaters from Bangladesh, chocolates from Switzerland—they all make the intercontinental journey in containers stacked like Lego blocks on cargo ships. And these ships can seed their own clouds, tracing… » 12/24/13 4:30pm 12/24/13 4:30pm

You Can Buy NASA's Giant Launch Platforms—Assuming You Can Move Them

The shuttle program is dead. That's sad. But the parts that made up the shuttle program have morphed into one massively absurd estate sale, the likes of which hoarders have only ever dreamed of. And that's absolutely wonderful. You'll soon be able to bid on one of the three genuine, 4,115-ton launch platforms that shot … » 8/23/13 2:20pm 8/23/13 2:20pm

Same-Day Delivery Is Great for Everybody… Except the Deliverers

We've already adjusted to the consumer utopia of buying just about everything online with a single click, but waiting for it to show up is still the hardest part. eBay Now pulled it off in a few places, and it's not easy; just ask the couriers who are making it happen. » 7/29/13 4:40pm 7/29/13 4:40pm

Just a Reminder That FedEx Doesn't Give a Crap About Your Packages

It can be FedEx. It can be UPS. It can be any shipping service, really. They all promise to get your packages to where you want them to go but there's no guarantee they'll treat your packages with any sort of tender, love or care. Most likely, they'll be thrown around, banged around and destroyed in the process. Just… » 7/26/13 9:13pm 7/26/13 9:13pm

A Photographer's Rare Trip Aboard One of the World's Largest Ships

The seven-year-old Emma Mærsk can carry more cargo than a 41-mile-long train and has a turning radius of almost a mile. Even compared to oil tankers, she’s more like a city than a boat—albeit a city that few people ever get to explore. But in 2010, a young photographer named Jakob Wagner became one of the few… » 6/25/13 12:50pm 6/25/13 12:50pm

Peterbilt's New "Super Truck" Gets 10 MPG—Double the National Big Rig…

More than two million semis travel some 120,000 miles apiece along America's arterial highways every year at an average efficiency of just 6 MPG. Six. Miles per gallon of diesel—not even Hummers are that wasteful. However, a new "Super Truck" design by Peterbilt has shown it can go the same distance for half the gas. » 3/22/13 3:20pm 3/22/13 3:20pm