October 29 - Whilst HLPFI focuses on heavy and OOG cargoes, its worth remembering that a sizeable proportion of project cargo moves in standard containers.

In that area, the BBC Box Project has been an ambitious and unique year-long project for BBC News to tell the story of international trade and globalisation by tracking a standard shipping container around the world. 

Over the last 12 months, the project provided unexpected lessons for producers and TV audiences. The idea was conceived during container shipping's greatest boom and delivered just as that boom went bust.

Having been followed around the world, the BBC Box has now returned to Southampton and the project's partner - shipping line NYK - has generously agreed to donate the container for charitable use. NYK will now transport it to Africa where it will be refitted as a permanent soup kitchen for some of those people who have been worst affected by the global recession.

Jeremy Hillman, editor of the BBC's business and economics unit says: "Since then (this time last year), the global economy stopped growing for the first time in 60 years, with poor countries particularly severely hit. Global trade sank like a stone, for periods at least taking our Box with it. From April until July it sat forlornly (if containers can be forlorn) in Yokohama. 

"It was just one tiny part of the statistic that the container business made a collective profit of GBP3billion in 2008, but is estimated to have lost a cool GBP20billion in 2009.

"Along the way we were able to cover developments in international piracy, including its impact on insurance and the profitability of the Suez Canal through which the box passed early in its journey."