THE CONTAINER—“ONLY A SIMPLE METAL BOX”.

THE CONTAINER—“ONLY A SIMPLE METAL BOX”. One of the most important innovations of my lifetime in terms of economic resources saved is containerization, which is relatively little celebrated. This article in the Economist (May 18, 2013) calls the container “only a simple metal box”. It’s the kind of technology that Ha-Joon Chang might call “mundane”. Here is a TED-Ed animation (less than 5 minutes long) showing how Malcolm McLean, a 24 year old truck driver, had the idea of skipping the step of unloading packages of goods from a ship into trucks (“breaking bulk”) by using large containers which are sealed until arrival at their destination. The previous technologies had been in place for hundreds of years. The Economist says that: “In 1965 dock labour could move only 1.7 tonnes per hour onto a cargo ship; five years later a container crew could load 30 tonnes per hour.”

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One Response to THE CONTAINER—“ONLY A SIMPLE METAL BOX”.

  1. Pingback: THE DIFFERENCE THAT CONTAINERIZATION MAKES. | Pater Familias

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