Shipping Containers and its Innovative Contribution to the Free World
In an article by Charles B. McKenna that was published in Security Magazine, he stated that he subscribed to the view that shipping containers made more of an impact to the world than the internet.
According to him, the shipping container has shaped the face of the world much like the simple invention of barbed wire.
“Prior to the invention and adoption of a standardized shipping container, boats were loaded and unloaded by hand, merchandise was often damaged in transit, stolen and the process of moving a product was expensive, unpredictable and time consuming,” he says.
He then added, “With the shipping container, however, it could be packed to make the product safe, sealed to safeguard it from theft and because it could be stacked on ships and then easily taken off by a crane operator and placed on truck frames or rail cars for the last mile, shipping suddenly became relatively inexpensive, predictable, safe from theft and much quicker.”
McKenna also mentions in his article that because shipping became more convenient, there was no need to build manufacturing plants near its consumer.
“(Manufacturing) Plants could be anywhere. Manufacturing swiftly relocated to places where labor was cheap, human rights laws were lax or non-existent and environmental oversight was something that happened elsewhere. Thus, jobs shifted and in America, once a manufacturing mecca, the entire swath of jobs moved offshore. In America and other countries, manufacturing could not compete with countries where labor was far cheaper such as China. Before the advent of the shipping container there was little real competition offshore because delivery of goods was so spotty and unpredictable. Metal box. Problem solved.”
McKenna went on to make further valid points on how the shipping container revolutionized not only the manufacturing and logistics companies, but other significant aspects as well.
To read his full article, you can find it here.
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