Ebook: Development of Containerization
This book deals with the revolution of containerization, a breakthrough in maritime transport. Until World War II, maritime transport and transshipment of general cargo had been virtually unchanged for decades. Mechanization and the introduction of small unit loads improved productivity and working conditions in the shipping business. A real breakthrough came from outside the maritime sector: railway and trucking companies launched the transportation of ‘vehicle-sized’ loads. Malcom McLean, a trucking magnate who had acquired the Pan-Atlantic Steamship Corporation, envisaged land-sea-land services, door-to-door, with ‘trailer bodies’. He equipped two of his tankers with spar decks and purchased 200 aluminum containers. On April 26, 1956 the Ideal X left the port of New York with 58 containers destined for Houston. This event triggered a revolution in maritime general cargo transport: ‘containerization’. Economies of scale, enhanced transshipment, no pilferage and less damage resulted in fast and low cost transportation. Over time, containerization accelerated the growth of worldwide trade and facilitated just-in-time logistics. Nowadays containerized transport is a real utility, indispensable for a global economy. Development of Containerization shows how the container-sector coped with the challenges it was facing. Entrepreneurial spirit and technological creativity were at the core of its success. The authors uniquely combine these two elements: the general economic and transport developments are chronologically structured per decade and pivotal technological changes are described in greater detail. The text is illustrated with many pictures because ‘seeing is believing’. The book is of interest to students in transportation, designers of terminals and intermodal transport systems and all those who are fascinated by the spectacular impact of containerization.
This book describes the development of containerization, which due to the tremendous cost and time savings in maritime cargo transportation proved instrumental for a globalized economy. The help of rapid developing technologies, available from many disciplines, and the innovative approach from engineers and logistic managers accelerated a worldwide expansion of containerization into a globalized, fast and cost-effective transport system. This facilitated the development of global just-in-time logistics and simplified the large-scale (intercontinental) transport of consumer goods and semi-finished products. Obviously, the evolution of IT systems helped to control the massive cargo flows with tens of thousands box handlings per day at major ports. At present, containerized transport has matured and contributes substantially to a higher wealth in the world.
From the start of our professional careers, in the early 1970s/mid-1980s respectively, we were impressed by the rapid technological changes in marine cargo transportation, shown by ever larger container vessels and new port infrastructure and terminal handling facilities, with all types of new equipment and information control systems. The various types of co-operation between shipping lines (including takeovers) and ways to control the total transport chain were also intriguing.
Many of the impressive developments in containerization were achieved by enthusiastic and driven pioneers such as Malcom McLean (Sea-Land), Stanley Powell (Matson), Lord Sterling (P&O), Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller (Maersk), Dr. Chang Yung-fa (Evergreen), Frank H. Brown (WP&YR), W. Bruce Seaton (APL), Li Ka-Shing (Hutchison Whampoa) and Gerrit Wormmeester (ECT). They had a vision and together with their entrepreneurial talents and managerial skills they motivated engineers and managers to realize their ideas through the use of technology. These professionals have considerably influenced the development of vessels, transshipment equipment and container handling concepts. Some of them deserve special mentioning: Keith Tantlinger, Bill Casper, Charles Cushing, George G. Sharp, Rudiger Franke, Les and Don Harlander, Charles Hilzheimer, Mike Jordan, Ron Katims, Murray Montgomery, Jules Nagy, Gene Pentimonti, Hans Tax, Ernst Vossnack, Jelis Verschoof, Larry Wright and Chuck Zweifel. Author Joan Rijsenbrij had the privilege to meet most of these key executives from the pioneering stage; it was a great pleasure to exchange views on conceptual designs and to discuss future developments. It showed that innovative transport systems can only be realized when based on vision, drive and the application of technology.
During the most recent decades, several books and publications have touched upon the various topics within containerization. Especially the shipping aspects and transport economics have been covered in great detail. A comprehensive history of containerization with a technological emphasis was still missing. With this book we have tried to present a worldwide overview of all major system components and the drivers that have contributed to the great success of containerization. Since today's dynamic life style does not allow going deep into history, the book is structured in developments per decade, whereas some key technological topics are examined in greater detail. It is illustrated by many pictures (seeing is believing), some of them of moderate quality from a photographer's point of view but relevant for the interested reader. We assume that the developments and lessons learnt will be valuable for students in transportation, designers of terminals and transport systems and all those who are fascinated by the impressive transport systems, supporting the prosperity of our society.