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05/11/2019 03:13 PM

How shipping containers changed Australia and the world

The World in a Box: a new film shows how the humble shipping container changed Australia and the world as we know it today

More than just a metal box, the humble shipping container created the world as we know it today.

Where once goods were loaded and transported around the world as breakbulk cargo, container standardization made global trade easier, quicker and cheaper. They changed more than just the operations of ships and ports — they revolutionised how we trade with the world.

Image: Port Botany in Sydney supplies the largest population centre in Australia

Today, over 750 million containers — measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) — are moved through almost 900 container ports across 141 countries each year.

The ships that carry them make over half a million individual port calls each year, with the largest container ships able to carry more than 20,000 containers alone.

In Australia, container standardization arrived 50 years ago this year. Now, Port Botany — Australia’s largest container port — sees over 2.5 million containers (TEU) move through the port each year, carrying the good we all depend on and taking our valuable produce overseas.

To mark this anniversary, a new film has been released to celebrate the boxes that changed how we live and connected Australia’s economy to the world.

Find out more about World in a Box

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