The transportation of container, or also known as container transport, is a transportation process of empty and loaded containers that are used in a variety of industries. The container transport has become a key component of many industries today, as it provides a cost-efficient and quick transportation solution. At first glance, the containers look like empty metal boxes, but these uniform boxes are more important than they seem. In fact, the containers have re-shaped the global trade market over the past few decades, because most companies prefer them over air transportation.
The first uniform metal container was invented by an American trucking magnet, named Malcolm McLean, in 1956. Before this transportation solution, the goods and supplies were transported on the traditional way that people have been using for centuries. People used to load and unload goods by hands on ships and transport it to any corner of the world. Unreliable, tough and slow, but unfortunately, this was the only process people knew for decades. Also, the ships used to spend more time docked than traveling at sea.
The containers have changed the container transport entirely. The transportation costs have decreased significantly, starting with the loading and unloading costs. During the 1960s, the capital per tonne of inventory has fell by half. As the containers were packed and sealed at the factory, they have also reduced the insurance costs. Although the first models of container transporting vehicles were not able to move extremely heavy loads, their transportation capacity has quickly increased. Consequently, the ships have become bigger and much more efficient, while spending much less time in ports. As containers were redesigned for distribution by trains and lorries easier, the ports have also became bigger and fewer in number.
For many years, people believed that is impossible to quantify the value of containerization, because the introduction of the metal containers coincided with a global reduction in trade barriers. This was the result of the European integration of the containers. However, the impact of trade deals from that of containers was clearly disentangled by a paper released in 2013. According to many researches in many different countries over the world, the containerization is associated with over 300% of increase in bilateral trade over the first five years, not to mention the expected increase for the following 20 years. All in all, the container transport has boosted the globalization more than all other transportation means over the last 50 years.