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The Box by Marc Levinson

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Chapter 2

 

 

Gridlock on the Docks

In the early 1950s, before container shipping was even a concept, most of the world’s great centers of commerce had docks at their heart. Freight transportation was an urban industry, employing millions of people who drove, dragged, or pushed cargo through city streets to or from the piers. On the waterfront itself, swarms of workers clambered up gangplanks with loads on their backs or toiled deep in the holds of ships, stowing boxes and barrels in every available corner. Warehouses stood at the heads of many of the wharves, and where there were no warehouses, there were factories. As they had for centuries, manufacturers still clustered near the docks for easier delivery of raw materials and faster shipment ...

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