In 2015, Amsterdam-based e-bike company VanMoof started shipping to the United States but found that a disproportionate number of them were damaged during shipping. So they started putting the bikes in fake flatscreen TV boxes. From VanMoof:
That small tweak had an outsized impact. Overnight our shipping damages dropped by 70-80%. We sell 80% of our bicycles online, which means we still print TVs on our boxes. More than 60,000 of them have now been shipped directly to our riders worldwide.
Now other bike companies do it too:
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Strength through progress - hundreds of MATE. ready and packed every week! 👉 #matebike
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As of Jan 1, a new International Maritime Organisation standard will seriously restrict the kind of air pollution that shipping vessels can emit; in response, the industry has invested more than $12b in "open-loop scrubbers," which capture the sulphur from heavy fuel oil exhaust and reroute it, along with CO2, into waste water that is dumped from the ships directly into the sea. Heavy fuel oil is the dirtiest form of fossil fuel.
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For more than a century, the Panama Canal has helped move shit by ship around the world. It's acted as a pinch point in international diplomacy, made vast sums of money off of the vessels that pass through it and, is so important to some shipping routes that many cargo vessels are designed specifically to fit within the canal's locks. This video breaks down the canal's importance and history into easily digestible facts that may bore folks at a party, but absolutely fascinated me.
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Andy W writes, "An artist/illustrator friend of mine just put an illustration of hers up on RedBubble — two iconic science-fiction television characters sharing a tender moment on the couch."
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The American Geophysical Union reports that a long-term study of major shipping lanes indicates that ship exhaust is dramatically altering lightning patterns. It's not clear what the long-term effects might be. Read the rest
From JeffHK, 80,000 photos over 30 days:
Route was from Red Sea -- Gulf of Aden -- Indian Ocean -- Colombo -- Malacca Strait -- Singapore -- South East China Sea -- Hong Kong
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JeffHK mounted a camera on a cargo ship, and 80,000 photos later he had a fascinating timelapse of what it's like to be at sea for 30 days. Read the rest
My friend Jesse Genet, founder of Lumi, created this useful and fun video series on how to effectively ship things. Read the rest
Much of San Francisco's Financial District used to be Yerba Buena Cove, where Gold Rush ships were abandoned in such numbers that many just rotted away till they sank. Read the rest
Here's a fun interactive map of global shipping. ShipMap allows users to selected color coding for ship types: container, dry bulk, tanker, gas bulk, and vehicles. It even lets you select animated ships on their routes. Read the rest
British artist Rebecca Moss went aboard the Hanjin Geneva container ship for a "23 Days at Sea Residency." But the company that owns the ship went bankrupt on August 31, and ports all over the world have barred Hanjin's ships because the shipping line is unable to pay the port and service fees. Read the rest
Amazon.com says it has entered into a partnership with the British government to get the nation's aviation authority approval for deliveries via small drones. Read the rest
Every year, thousands of shipping containers are lost to the briny deep. Maggie Koerth-Baker on the strange new homes they create for marine creatures.