Sixty Years Of Shipping Containers
It seems like shipping containers have always been a part of our lives. So much so that we tend to take them for granted. But in fact it’s only been a relatively short amount of time that they have been in existence. So, let’s spend some time talking about the sixty years of shipping containers.
Shipping containers have become such a ubiquitous part of our urban landscape that we don’t even take a second look when passing by one. And more and more, when we see a luxury house, restaurant, office complex, hotel, shopping mall, portable greenhouse or even a virtual portal into the future, we barely stop to give the container-made structure a second glass. Such is the impact shipping containers have had on our lives.
And to think it was only about 60 years ago that Malcolm P McLean of Winston-Salem, North Carolina filed a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office that the inter-modal international modern shipping container was introduced which revolutionized transport and international trade in the second half of the twentieth century. As McLean wrote in the application, “My present invention relates to water-borne freight movements and more particularly to a means for stowing cargo aboard an otherwise single purpose vessel whereby the pay load of such vessels may be greatly augmented without materially detracting from the primary load carrying capabilities of the vessel.” And with that (and a whole lot more) his petition was granted and the patent approved.
Of course, not everyone was enthralled with McLean’s invention. Cutting longshoremen and truckers out of the shipping / transportation equation caused quite a bit of consternation and more than a few lawsuits as a result. Legend has it that as McLean’s first container ship left Newark harbor, a man asked Freddy Fields, a top official of the International Longshoremen’s Association, “What do you think of that new ship?” Fields replied, “I’d like to sink that sonofabitch.” Longshoremen strikes ensued, but the cost of shipping dropped by a factor of a hundred.
As the advantages to McLean’s container system became apparent, competitors quickly developed. They built bigger ships, larger gantry cranes and more sophisticated containers. Now there are ships that are more than 400 meters long and carry nearly 20,000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivilent Units). Currently, the largest container ship in the world in the recently launched (7/2015) MV Barzan, built in Korea and owned by the Kuwaiti company UASC.
McLean’s company went through a series of changes and is now part of the mighty Maersk Group, one of the largest shipping companies in the world.
Now, McLean’s invention has morphed from a way to transport goods to everything under the sun. I was inspired to write this post by an article I read in Tomorrow.is, a unique online topical news magazine. The article is recommended reading as it provides a wide-ranging profile of the shipping containers with both the good parts and nasty bits of how the conex shipping container (“The Box”) has changed the world.
And speaking of recycling and repurposing new and used shipping containers, has this article motivated you to build something special with a container? Your own hotel or a cyber portal? Sourcing from sellers worldwide just got a whole lot easier. Whether you’re in Charlotte or Charlemagne, the Shipped.com Marketplace connects buyers and sellers from all over the world, enabling you to get the lowest price possible along with the fastest delivery time. You can sign up in seconds and within minutes sellers worldwide will be sending you their very best offers on exactly what you’re looking for. You’ll have your choice of the highest quality shipping containers at the lowest possible prices. Visit the Shipped.com Marketplace and submit your container request now.
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Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That (Shipping Containers Used In A Video)
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