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The Box by Marc Levinson

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Chapter 7

 

 

Setting the Standard

Containers were the talk of the transportation world by the late 1950s. Truckers were hauling them, railroads were carrying them, Pan-Atlantic’s Sea-Land Service was putting them on ships, the U.S. Army was moving them to Europe. But “container” meant very different things to different people. In Europe, it was usually a wooden crate with steel reinforcements, 4 or 5 feet tall. For the army, it involved mainly “Conex boxes,” steel boxes 8½ feet deep and 6 feet 10½ inches high used for military families’ household goods. Some containers were designed to be shifted by cranes with hooks, and others had slots beneath the floor so they could be moved by forklifts. The Marine Steel Corporation, a New York manufacturer, ...

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