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Confessions of a retiring container – Ten years of service in the liner shipping industry

Blog post   •   Jan 19, 2017 13:22 CET

Have you ever reflected on what happens to a container during its lifecycle? Or how we started using these standardised boxes for shipping in the first place? Below we have a greeting from one of our containers, which is now getting ready for retirement.

"Dear all,

My name is EISU3792350 and today is my last day of duty. I am retiring from over ten years of service in the liner shipping industry. Even though I am the rough type of guy, built from two millimetres corrugated steel, I am also getting weaker by age. Therefore, I am being sold today, for a quiet and less exhausting life as extra storage space at a farm outside Gothenburg in Sweden.

My type is quite new to this world, but my story began already in the 1950’s. Some might say a box is a box, but let me tell you a little bit about our origin. In 1955, a man named Malcom P. McLean developed a standardised box, which was intermodal and could be transported in several modes such as rail, truck, and sea without the cargo being re-stuffed. The very first journey of a standardised container was conducted in 1956. Even though the pure container ships weren’t built yet, a modified tanker ship from World War II shipped the first container between New Jersey and Texas. This was the first step in containerising the shipping industry, and a few years later, in 1961, the big leap was taken when standardised dimensions revolutionised the industry."

Read the full letter from EISU3792350 here. 

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