Shipping containers will go down in history as one of the most underrated inventions of our lifetime. This Invention has changed the process of trading goods all around the world. These containers made national and international trade more efficient than ever before. We’re going to go over plenty of shipping container facts that you probably didn’t know!
Before shipping containers, goods were loaded onto cargo ships individually. This is what was known as “break-bulk” shipping. Ships would carry on average 200,000 individual pieces of cargo! It would take a team of cargo loaders around one hour to load about 1.3 tons of cargo. Could you imagine? Loading and unloading of ship cargo would take around a week to fully complete.
In 1956, it would cost $5.86 to load one ton of cargo. That is equivalent to $61.27 today. 60 to 75 percent of all transporting costs were made up of portside costs. This included labor, loss of time, and damage of cargo.
Today, thanks to shipping containers, it only costs $0.16 to load one ton of cargo!
In 1956, an entrepreneur named Malcolm McLean invented the first shipping container. On April 26, 1956, the first container ship set for sea. This ship was called “Ideal X,” and it carried 58 shipping containers from New York to Houston!
When news about this efficient invention arose, American became all about shipping containers. The demand for these containers skyrocketed during the Vietnam war. In efforts to help the war, more than 1200 shipping containers were transported on a monthly basis.
The popularity of shipping containers has risen substantially over the years. The number of shipping containers lift went from 50 million containers to 600 million from 1980-2012 in Asia, Europe, and North America altogether.
These next shipping container facts may blow your mind:
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