Why were shipping containers invented? These days, we tend to assume that cargo is shipped in a standard shipping container. But this is a relatively new phenomenon.
Why were shipping containers invented? They provided a solution for problems in transportation at the time.
Before the arrival of the modern standard shipping container, various crates etc were used to ship cargo. Wooden crates were most commonly used, but there was no standard size. As a result, it was time-consuming to transfer cargo between different modes of transport, such as trucks and ships. It required lots of labour and was very inefficient. The cost of labour and time was significant for trucking and shipping companies alike.
In addition, there was another source of added expense… The crates used at the time were neither robust nor secure. The result was that cargo was often stolen, or damaged before it was delivered to its final destination.
Shipping containers as we known them were invented to create seamless and efficient intermodal shipping.
The modern shipping container has a set standard. This makes it far quicker to load and unload cargo. In addition, cranes were used in place of large labour forces. This increased efficiency reduced costs for both shipping and trucking companies.
Furthermore, the modern shipping container was designed to address issues of theft and damage. Because they are robust and secure, the reduced theft and damage led directly to increased profits.
Local and international trade became faster, cheaper, easier, and more efficient.
The development of the modern shipping container revolutionised trade on a global scale from the 1950s onwards.