In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Box tells the dramatic story of the container's creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the sweeping ecomic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about. But the container didn't just happen. Its adoption required huge sums of money, both from private investors and from ports that aspired to be on the leading edge of a new techlogy. It required years of high-stakes bargaining with two of the titans of organized labor, Harry Bridges and Teddy Gleason, as well as delicate negotiations on standards that made it possible for almost any container to travel on any truck or train or ship. Ultimately, it took McLean's success in supplying U.S. forces in Vietnam to persuade the world of the container's potential. Drawing on previously neglected sources, ecomist Marc Levinson shows how the container transformed ecomic geography, devastating traditional ports such as New York and London and fueling the growth of previously obscure ones, such as Oakland. By making shipping so cheap that industry could locate factories far from its customers, the container paved the way for Asia to become the world's workshop and brought consumers a previously unimaginable variety of low-cost products from around the globe. Published in hardcover on the fiftieth anniversary of the first container voyage, this is the first comprehensive history of the shipping container. Now with a new chapter, The Box tells the dramatic story of how the drive and imagination of an icoclastic entrepreneur turned containerization from an impractical idea into a phemen that transformed ecomic geography, slashed transportation costs, and made the boom in global trade possible.
Marc Levinson is an economist in Washington, DC. He was formerly a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, an economist at a leading investment bank, and finance and economics editor at The Economist.
Winner of Independent Publisher Book Awards: Finance/Investment/Economics Bronze Award 2007 and Society for Nautical Research: Anderson Medal 2007. Commended for John Lyman Book Award: Science and Technology 2006. Shortlisted for Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2013.
Princeton University Press
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Business, Accounting & Vocational: Textbooks & Study Guides
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Country of Publication
Princeton University Press
1 halftone. 1 line illus. 6 tables.
Second with a new chapter by the author
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