5 of the Strangest Items Found in Shipping Containers

Shipping Containers
Shipping Containers

If you’ve ever moved from one country to another, you’ll know what a process it is to have your belongings shipped in a shipping container. But if you follow the required regulations your move might go down without a hitch.

The many regulations you need to comply with depend on the country you’re moving from or moving to. The most common regulations include container fumigation and itemised details of the contents of each container. And there’s a reason why rules are so strict! Vendors need to prepare for almost any scenario as the list below will prove.

Some Weird and Unusual Shipping Container Contents

While you’re at the shipping yard having your container weighed, fumigated and itemised you might be amazed at the vast number of containers being shipped all over the world. Have you ever given thought to what’s in those containers?

In an era where it’s easier than ever to ship just about anything to just about anywhere, of course some people do just that. Over the years dock workers and customs officials have found some very strange items in containers. Read on to see what a few of these were!


Opening a container and seeing a bunch of dinosaurs might make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Jurassic Park movie set. The truth is there’s an exhibition of pre-historic creatures that travel around the world in a shipping container!

This interesting exhibition is made up of 14 life-size creatures that are disassembled and then recreated at the next destination. This historic travelling dinosaur pack started their exhibitions in the U.S.A and are making their way around the globe!

James Bond’s Stylish Car

In some countries, shipping containers are used as storage units. If these storage containers aren’t paid for or claimed at the specified time, their contents are sold off at auction.

One such shipping container was found to have one of James Bond’s luxury cars in it! While the vehicle had some damages, it was eventually authenticated as the car used in the movie “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

The person who bought the container for $100 ended up selling the car for close to $1 million. He most certainly would have regarded it as the best $100 ever spent!

Spy-like Weapons

When you hear about spy-like weapons being found in a container, you might think it has something to do with the Bond car above. However, a shipping container was intercepted by Sydney officials in 2013 and was found to contain an array of strange spy-like weapons. These odd weapons were real and definitely not from a movie set.

Among the odd, spy-like weapons seized, officials found a tear gas lipstick that was in full working condition. Tasers disguised as modern cell phones and pistols were also among the illicit items found.

As it turns out, the weapons stash belonged to a 49-year-old woman who had bought the haul as part of stock to sell at outdoor markets. She had obviously identified a market for the spy-like ensemble. Needless to say, the contraband was confiscated, and the woman arrested!

An Unsolved Mystery

It’s not uncommon for customs officials to do random and routine inspections on shipping containers coming in and leaving their ports. If a shipping container passes the initial test, it could still be flagged for random inspection at any time during its transition through the port.

This is exactly what happened in Italy a few years ago. Customs officials were performing a random inspection on a container and were surprised to find an empty container with exceptionally high radiation readings.

The container only contained a small piece of copper which couldn’t explain the unusual radiation reading. Tests were conducted on the mysterious piece of copper and the inside of the container. To this day, the mystery of the high radiating container can’t be explained. One can only hope the container was destroyed!

Deadly Cargo

If you’re moving simple household furniture, you might think fumigating Shipping Containers is somewhat of an overkill. After all, what could possibly be so harmful in the furniture you’ve been sitting on for years?

If you’ve ever watched the movie, Arachnophobia, you’ll know how dangerous transporting unfumigated containers can be. In Suffolk England, customs officials found a deadly black widow spider travelling from Singapore. Black widows are among the deadliest spiders in the world. A single bite can be fatal.

The dangerous critter was contained, and the container fumigated to destroy any eggs that might have been laid. Stories like this are one of the reasons why countries like Australia are so strict with industry regulations. The wrong type of insect introduced into your country’s eco-system can result in serious damage to crops.

Final Thought

Containers are re-used. This makes it necessary to have them fumigated no matter how innocent the items are that you’re shipping. Fumigation protects everyone coming in contact with your container.

The last thing you want to do is create an international scandal or even disaster, by transporting a deadly bug on the bottom of your sofa! As tedious as the shipping process is, rest assured that it’s in place for everyone’s safety!

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