PortCities - Southampton

PortCities UK
PortCities Bristol
PortCities Hartlepool
PortCities Liverpool
PortCities London
PortCities Southampton

*

Screen Version
About this site
Site Map
Feedback

You are here: PortCities Southampton > Diversity of Ships > Ships of today > Trade in boxes > Trade in boxes

Explore this Site

Start Here: About Us, Partners And Collections, Timeline, Get Interactive!, Help

Galleries: Image galleries, Biographies

Southampton: The Docks, River Itchen, Southampton at war, Flying Boats, Titanic, Finding Out More, Southampton speaks, Street Directories, Historic Buildings Survey

Registers and Records: Lloyd's Register, Official Sources, Other Records, Finding Out More

Wrecks and Accidents: Why accidents happen, Investigations, Improving Safety at Sea, Finding Out More, Wreck Reports

Life of a Port: How a port comes to life, At work in a port, Ports at play, Trade - lifeblood of a port, Finding Out More

On the Line: Company growth and development, Shipping lines, Transatlantic travel, Preparing a liner, Finding Out More

Sea People: Life at sea, Jobs at sea, Travelling by sea, Starting a new life by sea, Women and the sea, Finding Out More

Diversity of Ships: The variety of ships, What drives the ship?, Ships of ancient times, Ships in the age of sail, Ships of the steam age, Ships of today

Search:      (Advanced Search)

Trade in boxes


The container revolution

Containerisation has been perhaps the biggest revolution in shipping since the replacement of wind by steam power.  

Until the 1960s, relatively high-value goods such as manufactured products, food stuffs, chemicals and the more valuable raw materials such as cotton were delivered to the dockside in small packages.  They came in boxes, crates, barrels, drums or bales, or sometimes – in the case of vehicles – as they were.  These packages or items were loaded on board ship, stowed and, at the end of the voyage, unloaded individually.  This was not only time consuming and expensive, it meant that items of cargo were vulnerable to damage and theft. 

Containerisation radically changed the way cargo was carried.  It was now placed in a standard-sized container at the factory, farm or loading depot.  The container was sealed and taken by truck, train or barge to a port where it was hoisted on board a ship.  At its destination port this process was reversed and the container delivered to the customer, who unsealed and opened it.  As long as the goods had been well stowed, and conditions such as refrigeration maintained, they would be in excellent condition on arrival.

 

Sponsors:

Southampton City Council
New Opportunities Fund
Lloyd's Register
London Metropolitan Archives
National Maritime Museum
World Ship Society

Legal & Copyright
Screen Version
About this site
Feedback

Partner sites:
PortCities UK
PortCities Bristol
PortCities Hartlepool
PortCities Liverpool
PortCities London
PortCities Southampton