THE HISTORY OF SELF PACK SHIPPING CONTAINERS
THE STORY OF CONTAINERIZATION
Prior to containerization and Self Pack Moving Containers cargo was manually handled as breakbulk. Cargo would be loaded into a truck from the factory and delivered to the port warehouse where they would be offloaded and stored awaiting the next vessel.
Upon arrival of the vessel, cargo would be moved alongside the vessel and loaded into the cargo hold or on deck by dock labor. A vessel might make stops at several other ports before off-loading a consignment of cargo. Every port visited would delay the delivery of other cargo. Delivered goods may have been offloaded into another warehouse before being delivered to its destination. Repetitive handling and delays made transport costly and sometimes very unreliable.
The idea of containerization has its beginnings in coal mining regions of England, at the end of the 18th century.Wooden containers were used to transport coal. The horse-drawn wheeled wagons on the gangway took the form of containers, which, loaded with coal, could be transshipped.
During the 1930’s, railroads were hauling containers that could be transferred to vessels other modes of transport. By 1840, iron boxes were used as well as timber. The adoption of closed container boxes designed for movement between road and rail begin in the early 1900’s.
On 17 May 1917 Benjamin Franklin Fitch inaugurated exploitation of the experimental installation for transfer of the containers called the demountable bodies based on his own design in the US. Later in 1919, his system was extended to over 200 containers serving 21 railway stations with 14 freight trucks.
Before the Second World War, some European states independently progress with container systems.
1919 saw the first draft of a container System, developed by an engineer in Poland.
In 1921 The United States Post Office contracted the New York Railroad to move US mail via containers. In 1930, Northwestern Railroad began shipping containers between Chicago and Milwaukee.
In 1926 a luxury passenger train from London to Paris, began. For transport of passengers’ baggage four containers were used. Under auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris in on September 30, 1931, on one of the platforms of the Maritime Station (Mole di Ponente), practical tests were done to assess the best construction for European containers as part of an international competition.
In November 1932 in Enola the first container terminal in the world was opened by PRR Pennsylvania RailRoad company. The Fitch hooking system was used for reloading of the containers.
Containerization in Europe and the USA was a way to revitalize rail companies after the stock market crash, which lead to the economic collapse and reduction in use of all modes of transportation.
During World War II, the Australian Defence Force used containers to deal with various problems with breaks of gauge in the railroads. These non-stackable containers were about the size of the later 20ft container and constructed of timber.
At about the same time , the US ARMY started to combine items of uniform size, lashing them onto a pallet, USING cargo to speed the loading and unloading of shipping vessels and heavy air cargo aircraft.. The US TRANSPORTATION CORPS developed the TRANSPORTER, made of corrugated steel and able to hold approx. 4500kg, for the moving overseas with shipping containers of household goods for officers in the field. At 8′ 6″ long, 6′ 3″ wide, and 6′ 10″ high (2.59 x 1.91 x 2.08 m), with double doors on one end, mounted on skids, and had lifting rings on the top four corners. Theft of material and damage to wooden crates convinced the army that steel containers were needed.
Vessels built to carry containers started to appear in 1927. Containers were loaded in London or Paris and moved to the wharfs of Dover or Calais.
Former trucking company owner Malcolm Mclean developed the intermodal container the challenge was to design a container that could efficiently be loaded onto ships and would hold securely on long sea voyages. The result was a 8 feet (2.4 m) tall by 8 ft (2.4 m) wide box in 10 ft (3.0 m)-long units constructed from 2.5 mm (0.098 in) thick corrugated steel. The design incorporated a TWIST TYPE LOCK mechanism atop each of the four corners, allowing the container to be secured. Mclean patented the container design and so began the worldwide standardization of shipping containers.
IN 1956, Mclean, founded the first truly successful shipping line and loaded 58 trailer vans (later called containers), aboard a refitted bulk tanker ship, called the SS IDEAL X, which sailed them from New Jersey to Houston in the USA. McLean had the idea of using large containers that never opened in transit and that were transferable on an intermodal basis, among trucks, ships, and railroad cars.