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The Box by Marc Levinson

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Chapter 8

 

 

Takeoff

The Ideal-X and the Hawaiian Merchant were small-scale demonstrations of the container’s potential. The Gateway City, in 1957, and the Hawaiian Citizen, in 1960, offered powerful examples of the efficiency that container shipping could achieve once specialized ships and equipment were brought to bear. Yet in 1962, six years after it arrived on the scene, container shipping remained a very fragile business. In the East, it accounted for 8 percent of the general freight passing through the Port of New York but hardly any elsewhere, save Sea-Land’s bases in Jacksonville, Houston, and Puerto Rico. On the West Coast, a trifling 2 percent of general-cargo tonnage moved in containers. Most goods were still moved as they had been ...

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