Boxpert Blog

History of the Shipping Container Industry

Posted by Stephen Shang on Mar 15, 2010

In April 1956, a retrofitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston, marking the birth of an industry that would drastically change international commerce and people’s lives around the world. At this time, the shipping containers were simply repurposed truck trailers. The visionary behind the power of shipping containers was Malcolm McLean. Although Malcolm was the inventor of the shipping container, it was the US military that finally did what was necessary to make the ISO shipping container, or in their lingo – conex (“container express”) -accepted by every shipping line and every country of the world. After decades of trial and error, the crude creation finally becomes an indispensable catalyst for economic globalization today. If you’re interested in more details on the history of the shipping container, check out “The Box”.