A container ship docked at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey. No one on the pier knows for sure what exactly the containers carry â anything from frozen chicken to computers. Jonathan Blakley/NPR hide caption itoggle caption Jonathan Blakley/NPR Parallels - World News After A Downturn, Global Shipping Bets Big On Everything New container ships stack their cargo 10 stories high. They're so wide they won't fit through the Panama Canal until it's widened. Companies say this is what they need to survive in the 21st century.