Assuming you mean intermodal containers–the 20-foot-long steel boxes that are ubiquitous sights in busy ports–the answer can only be estimated from statistics, but it is certainly in the hundreds of thousands. The World Shipping Council reports that in 2007, the last full year for which good statistics are available, 120.2 million “TEUs” (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, or containers) full of cargo were exported worldwide by sea. That averages out to 329,315 containers a day. China is by far the largest shipper of containers, accounting for over 25% of the world total, with the United States a distant second at barely 8%.
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