Skip Navigation LinksNews > Shipping Container Facts



              A lot has changed in the shipping industry since trade ships started to travel trade routes some 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.  During that time goods to be transported were usually stored in crates, sacks and even in untidy piles making loading and unloading time consuming and costly.  Since its conception, the shipping container has taken the modern shipping industry by storm, although it is really the simplest of inventions. This breakthrough innovation was created by Malcolm P. McLean and this “light bulb” idea came to him when he was watching longshoremen load and unload some irregular cargo in Hoboken New Jersey in 1937. 

           The importance and versatility of shipping containers is evident from the fact that there are now more than 17 million containers in use world-wide and more than 5 million on board ships at this very moment. Their lifespan is usually around 20 years, unless they become one of the 10,000 container casualties that are lost at sea each year. After their useful life assisting in the transportation of cargo many of them are being repurposed and used for building fashionable homes, some of which are valued in the millions of dollars. This revolutionary idea has been deemed as “the greatest advance in packaging since the paper bag,” and it is no surprise that New York City dignitaries honored McLean, calling him shipping’s “Man of the Century”.


Read more interesting facts about shipping containers in its original article here