There have been some inventions that have changed people’s lifestyles and the world’s course dramatically. The wheel, the print, the light bulb, the TV and the radio, among many others, are all examples of this. Perhaps, the most recent invention that has had the greatest impact on people’s lifestyles, and how the world operates, in general, is the use of smart electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. But there is one invention, dating from the 1950s, that changed the world in unimaginable ways for many at the time, and yet, it is somehow underrated. Shipping storage containers may not have had a direct impact on people’s lives, so to speak, but it sure did on how the world operates, which, inherently, has an effect on the way people live. By leading to the development of new infrastructure, more efficient operations, and globalization, shipping storage containers would change the world forever.
Before shipping storage containers were invented, there were no world standards in the shipping industry. Any cargo ship could carry any kind of merchandise, and the relatively small inner city ports were the places where these ships loaded and unloaded the merchandise. When shipping containers proved that they were a much more efficient means of transporting goods, immediately, the need for ships and ports that adapted to these containers arose. That is how container ships were born: out of the necessity to reach maximum space efficiency when loading containers onto a ship. Also, the inner city ports became somehow obsolete. Because of the high traffic of container ships, carrying thousands of containers, it was necessary to have bigger ports. And then, the first container terminals were built. They not only allowed for better efficiency but also reshape the entire idea and conditions of what it meant to work at a port before.
Efficiency is defined as the ability to perform a specific task in an effective way, employing the least possible time and effort. Before the invention of shipping containers, the shipping industry was far from being efficient. Cargo was loaded as bulk or break bulk, and many times, the ships ended up with a lot of unutilized space. Additionally, the loading and unloading times were extremely long; it was normal for a ship to spend more time at the port than in transit at the sea. This all changed completely with the incursion of shipping containers, the container ships, and the terminals that were built for them. Container ships were designed to utilize the maximum space possible to carry cargo, and the terminals were adapted with cranes that automated the loading and unloading processes. Nowadays, loading and unloading a container ship takes just a few hours.
Seventy years ago, it was difficult, and expensive, to get a product from Asia if you were, say, in America, and vice versa. Because of the limited amount of merchandise cargo ships could carry and the long times they spent, not only at sea but at ports, the supply of foreign goods in any particular country was scarce. But when containers were invented, and along with it the ships and the terminals, getting products from different parts of the world became easier and less expensive than ever. It had an effect on global economics that had never been seen before. Since it was easy to transport goods from one country to another, companies started outsourcing their production to other countries where the raw materials were less expensive and, in many cases, having branches all around the world for specific operations. It created a domino effect because many jobs started being generated and the lifestyle of many people and economies of many countries improved in ways never expected.
Great Lakes Kwik Space has a vast experience assisting clients from different industries with their portable storage containers needs. We deliver your storage container exactly where you want it. If you are looking for storage containers for sale or rent, do not hesitate to contact us.