by Marc Levinson

In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Box tells the dramatic story of the container’s creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the sweeping economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about.

Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the first container voyage, this is the first comprehensive history of the shipping container. It recounts how the drive and imagination of an iconoclastic entrepreneur, Malcom McLean, turned containerization from an impractical idea into a massive industry that slashed the cost of transporting goods around the world and made the boom in global trade possible.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for Leonard Lopate at Large on WBAI Radio in New YorkLeonard Lopate at Large on WBAI Radio in New York 
Marc Levinson on Outside the Box: How Globalization Changed from Moving Stuff to Spreading Ideas
9/15/20           55 min


Thinkers & Ideas
Outside the Box with Marc Levinson
9/29/20       20 min


a16z Podcast
Of Container Ships, Supply Chains, and Retail
12/3/19       35 min


Trade Talks
133. How one man and some metal boxes revolutionized global trade
6/29/20        44 min


The Politics Guys
Marc Levinson Interview 
2/7/17         33 min


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