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The Rise Of Container Shipping Today’s business climate has become a much more integrated and inter-dependent global marketplace. Whether you are a small business or large multinational corporation there are ways to make your business more competitive by reaching out to global suppliers, finding easy storage solutions or finding new international customers. Often times you may find that shipping product or supplies from half-way around the globe to your destination is actually less expensive than having the item made locally.

The global economy is a somewhat new phenomenon that has really gained traction in the last 30 years. As China began to industrialize and open its frontiers to business enterprise and push other world powers like India, Russia or even Brazil to find niches in order to gain a world market share in different commodities or consumer goods. Real global expansion requiring manufacturing to be made more efficient was first pushed by the US and Japan in a quest for ever cheaper labor. This pushed manufacturers to seek partnerships and suppliers in second and third world nations to supply cheap labor. As this supply chain was established in the 1970s – 1980s it gave a boost to countries still industrializing like China, India and other smaller nations.

From 1980 until 2000 the US still led the way in world economic expansion by driving more and more manufacturing overseas, driving consumer prices lower and empowering the side development of the container vessel shipping lanes. The first container ship was developed in 1956 from a converted oil tanker, whose deck was strengthened to hold the newly developed corrugated metal storage containers. The SS Ideal X was the first container ship which on its maiden voyage in 1956 carried 58, 35’x 8’ x 8’ size shipping containers, from Newark, New Jersey to Houston, Texas. Through the development of interconnected economies requiring vast shipping needs, the container shipping enterprises were born. A standard measuring unit for container shipping is called a TEU or twenty-foot equivalent unit, measuring 20’ x 8’ x 8’. As of 2012, the most recent statistics, the total TEU world-wide shipping capacity stood at over 16 million TEUs. The average container ship currently carries between 12 – 15,000 TEUs with the newest and largest ships being delivered, able to carry 18,000 TEUs.

Within the last 20 years the development of refrigerated storage units has made shipping everything from fresh flowers to sides of beef from one side of the world to the other as easy as ordering from a supplier over the internet. These massive worldwide developments have enabled small, medium and large scale businesses to expand their business horizons, search for new clients in unthoughtful-of places, contract foreign suppliers, and ship products to ever expanding markets globally.


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The rise of container shipping