Why were shipping containers invented? Although most of us tend to assume that cargo is shipped in a standard shipping container, this is a relatively new phenomenon in the transport industry.

Why were shipping containers invented? To provide a solution for problems in transporting cargo at the time.

Before the arrival of the modern standard shipping container, cargo was shipped in various crates and the like. Although wooden crates were most commonly used, there were no standard sizes. Therefore, it was time-consuming to transfer cargo between different modes of transport, such as trucks and ships. It was very inefficient and required lots of labour. The cost of this time and labour was significant for both the trucking and shipping companies.

Furthermore, there was another source of added expense… The crates used at the time were not particularly robust nor secure. Therefore, cargo was frequently stolen, or damaged before it could be 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. What’s more, cranes were used in place of large labour forces. This increased efficiency reduced costs for both shipping and trucking companies.

Additionally, the modern shipping container was designed to address issues of theft and damage. Because they are robust and secure, theft and damage was reduced, which 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.