Yes! Same!Posted: May 25, 2020
from the WSJ’s obituary of James Sherwood (paywall, prob’ly)
His work with cargoes in France and England exposed Mr. Sherwood to the inefficiencies of loading goods at docks with rigid union work rules. That experience made him an early convert to the use of standardized steel containers, which could be loaded elsewhere and delivered to docks by train or truck.
In 1965, he founded London-based Sea Containers to buy containers and lease them to companies moving goods. His initial investment of $25,000 gave him a 50% stake. When the company went public in the late 1960s, he was suddenly rich, “free to move my life forward any way I wanted,” as he later put it.
Though I’ve thought much and even written about containerization, I never fully considered the union busting aspect.
Containerization is incredible. That such a simple idea – use a standardized box – took so long to come up with. That is was willed into reality by one man. The amount that it changed the world. Every port city in the world was changed. The ports became charmless factory zones. No more On The Waterfront. Walmart could not exist without containerization. The relationship of the United States and China is formed by what containerization did to shipping. We send them empty boxes, they send us full boxes.
Must relocate my copy!