How the container revolutionised the global supply chain

The Economist and the Financial Times have recently looked at the impact of the container and container ships. With the first journey of a container ship in 1956 the cost for tonne of cargo was $0.16 per tonne to load—compared with $5.83 per tonne for loose cargo on a standard ship. Furthermore, according to The Economist, countries with container ports rose from about 1% to nearly 90% which coincided with the rapid increase in global trade – see graph. Although it could be said that other events were happening at the same time – the movement towards free trade and reduced tariffs, the single market in Europe in 1992 and the eventually formation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Video below is from the FT.

Containers

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