The Story Behind Shipping Containers

Okay, I go off on a tangent one more time. However, that should no longer be surprising to my reader.  Shipping containers are, without doubt, one of the most underappreciated inventions of the modern age. Without them, much of the trade that goes on across the globe today would, it is safe to say, not be possible.

When were Shipping Containers Invented?

Shipping containers were invented in 1956 by Malcom McLean, who, at that time, was the owner of the biggest trucking company in the South. Today, it is hard to imagine a world in which there are no shipping containers. So, how were various goods; including Gold, Cotton, Food and Sugar, transported from one end of the globe to the other in the decades that preceded the invention of Shipping Containers?

Sacks, bales, crates and barrels

Believe it or not, goods were, before the invention of shipping containers, transported in bales, crates, barrels and sacks. They were then loaded onto the ships where, no doubt, there was an excessively high level of attrition. It is not so hard to imagine these ships becoming veritable breeding ground for vermin. There would also have been immeasurable financial losses due to water and air damage to the goods that were being shipped.

Why the invention of Shipping Containers was important

One of the major reasons why the invention of Shipping Containers proved to be revolutionary was the fact that it standardized the way through which goods were transported both at sea and using trains and trucks. It would, more often than not, take such a long time to transfer goods from one to the other that unloading one ship sometimes took weeks. Having standardized containers simplified the process. All that had to be done was lift a container from ship to train or truck, and the work would be done in a few hours.

Types of Shipping Containers

Standardization has morphed Shipping Containers into 20 and 40 foot sizes. There are also refrigerated containers. The following are some of the most common types of containers;

  • Flat Rack Containers
  • Dry Containers
  • Open Top Containers
  • Side Open Storage Container
  • Tunnel Container
  • Refrigerated ISO Containers
  • Tanks
  • Insulated Containers
  • Thermal Containers
  • Cargo Storage Roll Containers
  • Half Height Containers
  • Drums
  • Car Carriers
  • Swap Bodies

What goods can you transport

So, which goods can be transported using these amazing containers? Almost everything, as it turns out;

  • Vehicles
  • Toys
  • Televisions
  • DVDs
  • Clothing
  • Meat
  • Computers
  • Much More

Back to our usual fare

Okay, now back to our usual fare. If you are looking for great Search Engine Optimization and Rank Tracking software for your Shipping blog, why not try out SEMrush or any of the other SEO tools that we review in this article?

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