These days, we take it for granted that cargo is shipped in a standard shipping container. But have you ever stopped to wonder Why were shipping containers invented?
The best way to answer Why were shipping containers invented? is to look at the problems in transportation at the time.
Before the invention of the modern standard shipping container, cargo was shipped in various ways. Wooden crates of different sizes were typically used. Transferring cargo between different modes of transport, such as trucks and ships, was inefficient. It required lots of labour and it was time-consuming. This increased the costs for both trucking and shipping companies.
The containers that were being used were not particularly robust or secure. This meant that cargo was often stolen, or damaged en route to its final destination. This too led to increased expenditure.
The standard modern shipping container was invented to provide a seamless and efficient intermodal method of shipping cargo.
Having standard shipping containers meant that it was far quicker to load and unload cargo. Labour could also be replaced by cranes. This efficiency meant that shipping and trucking companies saved on their expenses.
The modern shipping container was designed to be more robust and secure. This prevented theft and damage that had previously plagued the trucking and shipping industries.
Local and international trade became quicker, easier, cheaper, and more reliable.
The invention of the custom modern shipping container revolutionised trade worldwide from the 1950s. It changed the way that cargo was transported and transferred between road, rail, and sea.