Our Container and their stories
October 30, 2019

Not only behind the containerized Hotel WineBox Valparaiso stands a history, no – every single container has a history. Imagine, each container lays about 576.604 kilometers / year and is needed 15 years. The whole hotel consists of a total of 25 containers. This means that the WineBox Valparaiso covers a total distance of over 216 million kilometers. To imagine that better: that’s 3/4 of the way from Earth to the Moon and back.

We investigated the best pieces of the stories to every individual container and find them too interesting to not share them with you:

Container of the Reception
In 2013, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd container KKFU 7027402 was loaded on a cargo ship by mistake. Right before the ship wanted to leave the port for its 2 weeks journey to USA, Jiang Wu, who was the initiator of this mistake, woke up and realized his mistake. It took the police several hours to locate this container and unload him.

Container of the Winebar
In 2010, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 4054555 was aboard of the MV Altavia. The ship was denied to enter the Port Authority of Guam, after customs officials discovered that the containers were infested with thousands of giant spiders.

Container of Room 11
In 2013, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5688554 was seized at the Port of Hong Kong by customs officials who uncovered 1,120 ivory tusks, 13 rhino horns and 5 leopard skins (valued at US$5.3 million) destined for the Lagos Port Complex in Nigeria.

Container of Room 13
In 2011, Textainer Equipment Management Ltd. container AMFU 8724109 was seized by Ecuadorian authorities who uncovered five different species of protected animals that were being smuggled out of the country destined for the port of Jawaharlal Nehru in India.

Container of Room 15
In 2006, after a journey which originated in the port of Guangzhou, China, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5627266 was 1 of 117 containers seized at the Port of Hamburg in Germany when customs officials discovered over 1 million counterfeit Nike, Adidas and Puma shoes valued at US$490 million

Hotel WineBox Valparaiso Container

Container of Room 21
In 2009, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5558653 was aboard the MV Hansa Stavanger which was hijacked by Somali pirates. The ship and 24 crew members were held hostage for four months (finally being set free after a US$2.75 million ransom was paid).

Container of Room 25
In 2012, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5702014 survived aboard the MV Bai Chay Bridge when category 4 super typhoon Guchol battered the ship with winds of over 190 km/h whilst traveling from Long Beach, California to Tokyo, Japan.

Container of Room 26
In 2014, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5558653 was inspected by Brazilian customs officials at the Port of Rio de Janeiro resulting in the discovery of 20 stolen works of contemporary art valued at US$4.5 million (smuggled from Miami, Florida).

Container of Room 27
In 1997, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5829842 survived aboard the Tokyo Express after it was hit by a giant wave causing 62 containers to fall overboard (including one container with over 4.8 million LEGO pieces that have been washing up on the beaches in Devon, Cornwall and Ireland ever since).

Container of Room 31
In 2006, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5874409 traveled from the port of Lianyungang, China aboard the MV Japan which transported steel, electrical conduits and piping that would be used to build the base of the World Trade Center Freedom Tower in New York City.

Container of Room 32
In 2010, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5512550 was 1 of 13 containers seized at the Lagos Port Complex in Nigeria. Customs officials discovered illegal weapons including RPG rocket launchers, fragmentation grenades and AK47 ammunition (dispatched from the port of Bandar Abbas, Iran).

Container of Room 33
In 2012, Triton International container TRLU 6888621 was 1 of 54 containers sold at auction in Sydney, Australia. They were later found to have heroin, methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine with a street value of over US$150 million concealed within the steel structure. All but one were later recovered by the police.

Hotel WineBox Valparaiso watch inside a container

Container of Room 34
In 2006, Transamerica Leasing Inc container TGHU 8194136 was aboard the Hyundai Fortune when a fire broke out and spread to seven containers full of fireworks. The resulting explosion resulted in 60 containers being lost overboard and all 27 crew members abandoning ship. In total the accident cost US$800 million in damage to the ship and lost cargo.

Container of Room 35
In 2011, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5513258 was inspected by customs officials at the port of Balboa, Panama whereupon they found 119 kilos of cocaine hidden in jars of instant coffee destined for the port of Gdynia in Poland.
In 2012, container NYKU 5661574 was opened at the Port of Tilbury, Essex and workers discovered one of the world’s deadliest snakes, a saw-scaled viper, had somehow slithered its way onto the container at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in India.

Container of Room 41
In 2008, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5900730 transported whisky from the port of Leith, Scotland for the first presidential inaugural ball of United States President Barack Obama.
In 2012, container NYKU 5892737 transported a three-month old kitten over 10,000 km from Shanghai, China to the Long Beach, California. Miraculously, the kitten survived the two-week trip with no food or water and was nursed back to full health.

Container of Room 42
In 2008, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5833159 transported the first generation of iPhones to Chile (from Shanghai to the port of San Antonio).

Container of Room 43
In 2012, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5836965 washed up on Kodiak Island, Alaska after being carried over 5,000kms from Fukushima, Japan (following a 6.9 magnitude earthquake which triggered a tsunami). The total journey took eight months and miraculously the container was undamaged and put back into service.

Container of Room 44
In 2013, Nippon Yusen Kaisha container NYKU 5911272 was seized at the Port of Ashdod in Israel where customs officials uncovered 700,000 fake Viagra pills valued at US$5 million en route from the port of Ningbo-Zhoushan in China.

More interesting information about containers in general:
– 10,000 shipping containers are lost at sea every year (could be overexaggerated, depends on source)
– 97% of containers are made in China
– 17 million shipping containers in total, just 6 million in use at sea
– 95% of the world’s cargo moves by ship