Containers Coming Back from Afghanistan

Always on the look out for container related trivia, the MoD 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts provides some interesting information on the numbers of containers that are being used to recover equipment and stores from Afghanistan.

As at the end of October 2014, we had redeployed 3,400 vehicles and major equipments ( VAME) and 4,550 twenty foot equivalent units  ( TEUs) of materiel from Afghanistan. This represents 95.2% of the total number of VAME and 71.8% of  TEUs to be redeployed.

A quick bit of mental arithmetic (who am I kidding) shows the expected total number of Twenty Foot Equivalent containers used to recover what is left from a decade or so of operations in Afghanistan is;

6,337

Or put another way

Just over a third of the capacity of a single Maersk Triple E (later variants) , each of which can carry over 18,000 TEU.

Triple E Container Ship
Triple E Container Ship

 

Or the throughput of the Port of Felixstowe for a whole 15 hours (Felixstowe handled 3.7 million TEU’s last year)

Port of Felixstowe
Port of Felixstowe

 

Puts things in perspective and makes you think doesn’t it?

 

 

 

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MSR
MSR
December 1, 2014 9:07 am

Yes, it does make me think. It makes me think we fought that war on a bloody shoe string! I would have expected to fill the Triple E, and tie up Felixestowe for a whole Bank holiday weekend. What exactly did we spend all that money on? It sure wasn’t kit. Oh, wait, I did read about the nice little palace the Iraqi president’s cousin bought, complete with enormous neon-lit fountain and a pet lion tethered on the lawn…

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
December 1, 2014 11:44 am

TD wants to do Atlantic Conveyor again:pick up what remains of the Forces in Germany as a detour, and the whole thing gets sunk in one go by the Dogger Banks.

More seriously, would be nice to know what was gifted (volume terms) to the ANA, how much is still sitting in the retail park formerly known as Camp Bastion (the flogging off has been outsourced) and the rest iz clearly consumables as battle attrition and what has been torched for excessive wear&tear must be known and should not be that much. Relative to the total shipped over, that is.

Kent
Kent
December 1, 2014 6:34 pm

– I don’t know about that, but I know that 16 G-222s (C-27As) bought by the USAF for the Afghan Air Force were cut up for scrap that was sold for the princely sum of 6 cents per pound.

Kent
Kent
December 1, 2014 9:58 pm

@TD – You just know that generations of Afghans are going to grow up in 20 and 40 foot containers left behind. Either that or Afghanistan will be mining them for ferrous metal for years to come a la Japan’s steel industry prior to WW2.