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I've got a friend who works in refrigeration. He fixes containers when they have issues. Occasionally, he isn't able to meet the deadline. When this happens he is told to "Chuck it onto the next ship", and then he just places the container on the queue for the next available ship. He's worked for years now, and this still blows his mind that he's able to do this. Like, containers are not assigned to ships, but to something else? I've spoken to a few others and there appear to be some sort of shipping container cycles or circuits that allow this to happen, but when I google for "shipping container cycle/circuit" I don't find what I intend to find. I'm not looking for the right keyword, clearly.

My question is: what guarantees that the container goes from A to B, and doesn't just go from A to B to C to D to ... back to A? What directs containers to their destination once they leave the starting port?


Excellent, thank you! Yes that is interesting to me. The only other place I saw the s-risk/aliens connection being made was in this paper: Risks of space colonization (Kovic, 2020), section 4.4. 

I'll incorporate that along with your posts into my review.