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The Box by Marc Levinson

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Chapter 3

 

 

The Trucker

The U.S. economy boomed in the years just after World War II. The maritime industry did not. The entire merchant fleet had been commandeered by the government when the United States entered the war, and many ships did not revert to private control until July 1947, almost two years after the war ended. Coastal shipping had been all but closed down after German submarines sank several ships, and after 1945 coastwise traffic remained well below prewar levels. Trucks grabbed market share in domestic transportation, but the need to spend days painstakingly handling cargo each time a ship steamed into port kept the maritime industry from reducing costs enough to compete. “Until cargo handling costs can be reduced, there is ...

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