The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

Princeton University Press
24

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 economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about.

Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the first container voyage, this is the first comprehensive history of the shipping container. It recounts how the drive and imagination of an iconoclastic entrepreneur, Malcom McLean, turned containerization from an impractical idea into a massive industry that slashed the cost of transporting goods around the world and made the boom in global trade possible.

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 technology. 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, economist Marc Levinson shows how the container transformed economic 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.

Read more

About the author

Marc Levinson is an economist in New York and author of three previous books. He was formerly finance and economics editor of the "Economist", a writer at "Newsweek", and editorial director of the "Journal of Commerce".

Read more

Reviews

4.2
24 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Published on
May 20, 2010
Read more
Pages
400
Read more
ISBN
9781400828586
Read more
Features
Read more
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / Industries / Transportation
Technology & Engineering / Industrial Design / Packaging
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Marc Levinson
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 economic 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 technology. 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, economist Marc Levinson shows how the container transformed economic 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 iconoclastic entrepreneur turned containerization from an impractical idea into a phenomenon that transformed economic geography, slashed transportation costs, and made the boom in global trade possible.

Marc Levinson
The decades after World War II were a golden age across much of the world. It was a time of economic miracles, an era when steady jobs were easy to find and families could see their living standards improving year after year. And then, around 1973, the good times vanished. The world economy slumped badly, then settled into the slow, erratic growth that had been the norm before the war. The result was an era of anxiety, uncertainty, and political extremism that we are still grappling with today.

In An Extraordinary Time, acclaimed economic historian Marc Levinson describes how the end of the postwar boom reverberated throughout the global economy, bringing energy shortages, financial crises, soaring unemployment, and a gnawing sense of insecurity. Politicians, suddenly unable to deliver the prosperity of years past, railed haplessly against currency speculators, oil sheikhs, and other forces they could not control. From Sweden to Southern California, citizens grew suspicious of their newly ineffective governments and rebelled against the high taxes needed to support social welfare programs enacted when coffers were flush.

Almost everywhere, the pendulum swung to the right, bringing politicians like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to power. But their promise that deregulation, privatization, lower tax rates, and smaller government would restore economic security and robust growth proved unfounded. Although the guiding hand of the state could no longer deliver the steady economic performance the public had come to expect, free-market policies were equally unable to do so. The golden age would not come back again.

A sweeping reappraisal of the last sixty years of world history, An Extraordinary Time forces us to come to terms with how little control we actually have over the economy.
Marc Levinson
 في عام 1965, قامت ناقلة, أُعيد تجهيزها بنقل ثمانٍِ وخمسين حاوية حمولة من نيوآرك إلى هيوستن. من تلك البداية المتواضعة, تطور الشحن بالحاوية إلى صناعة ضخمة دمّرت الجماعات التي كانت تعيش على الواجهة المائية, وأعادت تشكيل الصناعة مدمرة مرافئ استمرت قرونًا, وأنشأت مرافئ جديدة ضخمة حيث لم يكن هناك أحد من قبل. يروي كتاب (الصندوق) القصة الدرامية لـ «كيف حول دافع وخيال مقاول يدعى مالكوم مكلين التحوية من فكرة غير عملية إلى ظاهرة خفّضت كلف النقل وجعلت ازدهار التجارة العالمية ممكنًا».

إن ليفنسون يقوم بطرح قوي, مفاده بأن تفكير مكلين هو الذي قاد إلى التحوية اليوم. لقد بدّل اقتصاديات الشحن البحري ومعها تدفُّق التجارة العالمية، ولولا الحاوية, لما كانت هناك عولمة.

الإكونوميست

لقد أنتج ليفنسون كتابًا مدهشًا لكل من يهمه كيف صار الاقتصاد العالمي مترابطًا, وذلك عبر ربطه الفني لتفاصيل ما حدث في كل مرفأ مع المدى المهيب للتاريخ الاقتصادي.

نيل إروين, واشنطن بوست

أنتج ليفنسون عرضًا مدهشًا لرومانس الحاوية الفولاذية. لن أنظر أبداً إلى الشاحنة بالطريقة نفسها بعد الآن .

هوارد ديفيس, تايمز (لندن)

Marc Levinson
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Non fiction Books of 2011.

From modest beginnings as a tea shop in New York, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company became the largest retailer in the world. It was a juggernaut, the first retailer to sell $1 billion in goods, the owner of nearly sixteen thousand stores and dozens of factories and warehouses. But its explosive growth made it a mortal threat to hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop grocery stores. Main Street fought back tooth and nail, enlisting the state and federal governments to stop price discounting, tax chain stores, and require manufacturers to sell to mom and pop at the same prices granted to giant retailers. In a remarkable court case, the federal government pressed criminal charges against the Great A&P for selling food too cheaply-and won.

The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America is the story of a stunningly successful company that forever changed how Americans shop and what Americans eat. It is a brilliant business history, the story of how George and John Hartford took over their father's business and reshaped it again and again, turning it into a vertically integrated behemoth that paved the way for every big-box retailer to come. George demanded a rock-solid balance sheet; John was the marketer-entrepreneur who led A&P through seven decades of rapid changes. Together, they built the modern consumer economy by turning the archaic retail industry into a highly efficient system for distributing food at low cost.

©2017 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.