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Containerization: The Most Influential Invention That You've Never Heard Of

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The intermodal container changed our world. We would never have the interconnected and global economy of today without Malcolm McLean and his system of containerization. Email: wendoverproductions@gmail.com Twitter: @WendoverPro Please consider subscribing for more great videos about our world! Attributions: Northeast passage photo by Collin Knopp-Schwyn and Turkish Flame "Faster Does It" song by Kevin MacLeod Additional footage provided by VideoBlocks Licenses available upon request
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Text Comments (512)
Zege (6 days ago)
*This guy is fucking awesome*
Victor Ji (9 days ago)
Murtaza Malak (14 days ago)
just have to pause the video to write : " wow what an invention " , reminds us that a small idea can have such a great impact.
Elliott Zinc (25 days ago)
Uh oh. Singapore is screwed.
Lauren VanderHout, Teacher (26 days ago)
best video ive seen
w2ttsy (29 days ago)
Came here expecting a video about docker, ended up with a video about shipping instead..
BLOCKER BLOCKER (1 month ago)
Transistors are the best inventions of the 20th century
matthew galer (1 month ago)
I thought this was gonna be about refrigeration
Shawna Brookes (1 month ago)
Global shipping ergo globalization ergo Neoliberalism ergo deindustrialization of American ergo slow economic collapse ergo resurgence in nationalism ergo Trump ergo The Epic Crash ergo deglobalization ergo produce local again ergo the rise of 3D printing
mac berry (2 months ago)
The world still depends on boats
Exige000 (2 months ago)
So there you have it. A video which tries to make a point using wrong and irrelevant illustrations and examples, narrated by a moronic voice, to boot. Don't believe all you read, hear and see on the internet because most of it has not been written and verified by subject matter experts.
Exige000 (2 months ago)
"We wouldn't have our oranges from Florida" ......"We wouldn't have our phones from China" ..........why not? The picture at 5.26 is of a refrigerated rail box cars - NOT containers. The suggestion here is that the Tropicana oranges are moving domestically across the USA so containers play no role in this transport whatsoever. You would have been better served by showing photos or video of Chiquita or Dole or Del Monte reefer ships with reefer containers on board. Mobile phones are mostly air-freighted due to the value and time taken to move these high-tech but short shelf life items to market. Containers are not applicable. Actually, to illustrate this point you should have mentioned something like toys, furniture or athletic shoes- all of which have been boosted by containerisation and which have grown in worldwide transport because of containers.
Exige000 (2 months ago)
Avoiding the pirate infested waters of the Gulf of Aden .....maybe in 2012 but this is no longer a serious threat and container ships were never a major target of the pirates due to their speed and high freeboard. Do you know anything about piracy?
stephen heath (1 month ago)
not only that ,but international warships patrol those waters constantly
Exige000 (2 months ago)
Northeast Passage isn't the panacea that you suggest. The first container vessel to try this routing was a Maersk vessel which sailed direct from Vladivostok to Hamburg but that was a single trial. The reasons this is not such a great solution is that it is only open a couple of months a year, that ice class (strengthened) ships are still needed and, at all other times an icebreaker convoy would be needed. In addition, the Northern route does not allow valuable wayports in the Middle east, India and the Mediterranean to be called, so the northern route is a point-to-point service only - good for speed but limited in cargo opportunities.
Exige000 (2 months ago)
"No need for logistics, No need for calculations"?????? Do you seriously listen to yourself....or maybe this is the reason why container shipping lines make no money - because they don't operate logistics or make calculations?
Exige000 (2 months ago)
@2.36 - "Even some planes are now being designed to fit intermodal containers" ......except the picture isn't of a container but a ThalesAirbus satellite module.
Exige000 (2 months ago)
@2.33 - "fit on the truck that will take it up to Russia" ......... except that the truck in the picture is a refrigerated van trailer - NOT a container! If you are going to make a video about containerisation, at least show CONTAINERS !
nonsolumarmis (2 months ago)
1:40 Sold everything he owned to follow his idea. What are you doing with your life ?
BlackPage (2 months ago)
I live in Ontario Canada and the raspberries at the grocery store are from California and Mexico. How the fck is that profitable?
a tribute to Yeah, Sure (2 months ago)
"The Most Influential Invention That You've Never Heard Of" Click bait = thumbs down.
Dejan Subaric (2 months ago)
There is a documentary called "The container that changed the world" which is all about the shipping container. Recommended for anyone further interested in this topic.
steve1978ger (2 months ago)
fucking containers, how do they work
Don't Read this (2 months ago)
I have a subwoofer on my computer AND THAT BASS
Zim O.E (3 months ago)
I found myself here randomly, Guess I'll learn.
Anderson 63 Scooper (3 months ago)
Totally thought this was going to be about _software_ containers, like Docker does. Who hasn't heard of intermodal shipping?
Riley (3 months ago)
The Northwest passage is in Nunavut, not Russia and Scandinavia...
Canadian Crafter (3 months ago)
or the same unit of measurement...
Chris Musix (4 months ago)
The insanity of our modern economy: that shipping products half way around the world would be viable because of the inequality suffered by Asian workers. Thanks bro - you made Communism shiny!
Tymon Smith (4 months ago)
5:27 "Pipping is the behind the scenes process....."
GS4444 (4 months ago)
And here I was thinking this was about the recent mass adoption of containerization with docker. /facepalm
Budi Darmawan (4 months ago)
Isn't container ISO standard?
twistr (4 months ago)
Morpheus network
Διογένης (4 months ago)
Actually, container carriers have a much much higher speed of 22-24 knots rather than the one you mentioned. The average speed you mentioned is that of bulk carriers and traditional crude oil tankers (More like 12 knots to be more accurate). I worked on board an LNG carrier and our average speed was 16-17 knots (Which is slow for LNG carriers, usually it is 18-19). I know that stuff first hand. I've been on watch for many many hours on that navigation bridge so my source is my experience. I think you are a little bit inaccurate right there.
Friendofspiders (5 months ago)
Those logistics videos are so interesting, to understand the processes behind our industrialization
aholguin618 (5 months ago)
Hate to beat a dead horse but the "no need for logistics" comment was just cringeworthy. The biggest vessels these days carry in excess of 12,000 TEUs, those boxes don't just get there by themselve. A lot of planning goes into every shipment.
Junk Mail (5 months ago)
Belated, but thanks for making this video. I actually didn't realize.
Rafael Vilorio (5 months ago)
4:14 what do you mean profitable🤔
AviationGeek007 (5 months ago)
Clint Golub (5 months ago)
“Global Warming may destroy some island nations and cities, but at least we can now cut down shipping routes by a few days”
Clint Golub (5 months ago)
The podcast #99percentinvisible covered this too! https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/containers-ships-tugs-port/
jus random shi (5 months ago)
I only use made in China things. Because I'm in China
L MUS (6 months ago)
I find it funny that the guy´s last name is McLean, because what he created has made the whole process more lean
WIFIGHOST CRUISER (6 months ago)
I've heard of it, I used to spend everyday of little containers with a forklift and by hand. A lot of containers still have to be loaded and unloaded by hand at the warehouse or factory.
The UnReaL Graffiti (6 months ago)
Nice when he pronounces “shipping” as “dipping”
Thekukills (7 months ago)
Did you just state that Kansas exports goods to Russia? Sure.
SteveTheFazeman (7 months ago)
The statement that Malcolm McLean sold everything was another inane comment.
Михайло Сєльський (7 months ago)
What really bothers me about shipping is this oxymoron: "shipped by plane".
Gabrulo_knives_from_waste (7 months ago)
is funny how the global warming is helping to decrease the emission of co2
Krpajda (7 months ago)
This is like the vaporwave of Wendover videos. It's slow, with ugly visuals; calming, yet weird and out of place somehow.
Doug Mcdonell (8 months ago)
For the worlds longshoremen this was the end. No more helping yourself to cargo.
Bris Vegas (8 months ago)
These ships run off dirty fuel that pollutes the atmosphere on a grand scale as they burn sulphur and other chemicals.... just so people can consume mindlessly, buying 10 pairs of sneakers, plastic t-shirts and gummy bears. What's the end game? How many more decades can this last for?
SHERMAN YOUNG (8 months ago)
Great video, but you show shipping containers from the US going to other places in the world, when truth is that most of the world's shipping containers are coming here to the United States 😂😂this country is the largest consumer of goods on EARTH... unbelievable 😮😮😮 the most we ship is bulk agriculture goods like,corn ,wheat,soy,beef,and pork, but not very much manufacturer goods.... Americans are greedy MONEY hungry Consumers 😮😮😮😮🤐
Jack Traveller (8 months ago)
Why can't container ships be engineered to be faster?
Notmade ofPeople (8 months ago)
I was not aware of the fact that I have never heard of shipping containers.
Klaa2 (8 months ago)
Question is, when are we going to standardize and supply chain ALL containers ? The enormous amount of waste and pollution from a one use container disposal system is such an obvious problem that needs to be solved immediately. It is literally destroying the world and escalating the cost of everything.
Womb Raider (8 months ago)
Global warming is a huge scam
Sean Cauffiel (8 months ago)
Containerization saved China from destitute poverty. Say thank you, third worlders. ::crickets::
This Isn't Even My Final Form (9 months ago)
1000 years later, your phone will be made in Mars.
Joe Blow (9 months ago)
Interesting, but could have done without the global warming crap.
Mahin (9 months ago)
Thanks for mentioning my country Bangladesh. :)
Pierzing.glint1sh7 (9 months ago)
Mahin USA shit is coz of Afghanistan tho...that would have happened regardless...and it wouldn’t affect the hypothetical east pak anyway coz India’s in between. So the taliban and everything that goes with it wouldn’t really affect you. I’ll tell you what India would try to do in that situation is to orchestrate false flag attacks and blame them on west Pakistan in order to make us divide if we hadn’t done in 1971. You’ve lost almost all political influence since without us you’re nothing but an Indian client state. You’re getting better economically but India surrounds you politically and literally on the map. Our nuclear weapons would also be yours, and atleast we’re still a thorn in India’s side but if we were together India literally couldn’t do anything without asking us first. We could not have made significant investment into east Pakistan at the time due to the fact that we were poor ourselves and we didn’t have the resources. On top of that add two wars with India 1948 and 1965, you should not have expected a lot of investment into the east. And finally Bangladesh is not doing well now due to independence. A lot of things which used to be made in Pakistan up until the war on terror are now made in Bangladesh. This is of US origin, and you were still exceedingly poor for decades even after independence.
Mahin (9 months ago)
Mmmm your right on the part India has a big influence on us. And they helped us win. But the topic that started this is that Bangladesh was mentioned here. And for what reason is that you ask? We are the biggest producers of cloths today cause we are independent. If we were to stuck with the west that would have been impossible. The west never made any developments in the east (which is one of the reason for the war) which led onto asking for our own language at leas but the government kills a lot of people instead, people were furious and it led to the war. The conclusion is if the west made significant development on the east not steal from it instead. The east and west would have never gone for that election, the west would have never lost on east and they could have still be together. ""And then you can say We could have India by the balls"" To also mention about your so called "Right Path". If we were together today the east would have been the poorest country with slavery and with a lot of USA shit going on here(i don't deny USA shit is not happening here now, but it is on a completely different level then yours.). I hope you Reply I'm having a blast here. :) :D
Pierzing.glint1sh7 (9 months ago)
Mahin You guys were stupid for demanding independence imagine we were still together we wud have India by the balls but noooooo you’re India’s puppet and always will be. Without their intervention you would be on the right path, with us!
Mahin (9 months ago)
Pierzing.glint1sh7 well if your talking about our independence. Then I clearly remember that we fought for it. ☺️
Pierzing.glint1sh7 (9 months ago)
Mahin you damn bungies get happy at anything. We should never have let you leave
Olive Anderstein (9 months ago)
2:15 so damn true. Stupid plugs.
Rob Mckennie (9 months ago)
Automization? Automation.
Luminescent Lion (9 months ago)
WSJ copied like 99% of what you said in this
Leo N (9 months ago)
Everything is made on our planet Earth, and that's good enough for me.
Richard (10 months ago)
the way he said “Newark” eww
InCaseOfEmergency EatAss (10 months ago)
A shipping container is 8 feet wide × 8.5 feet tall × 20 or 40 feet long
NCKDM (10 months ago)
5:27 pipping 😂😂
Bob Lint (10 months ago)
I wish I could go back in time and invent this sooner
Bob Lint (10 months ago)
Actually I'm taking credit. This one was me
Khong Minh (10 months ago)
Wow, nice observation. Thanks for making this channel.
adamcarrell (10 months ago)
Who's never heard of shipping containers?
wave haven (10 months ago)
Got news for some Real Historians...Malcolm got his proven system from the Pacific Northwest, Truck to Ship to train or your door...1st successful trip was 64 containers by People with Balls of steel - Ocean Van Lines 1952 Seattle to Alaska, Seattle Times Aug 31 1952....Malcolm's trip was 1956 who used the same method, he had money, truck company and tankers and bought the man who knew how to piece it together....he never thanked Ocean Van Lines 1 time to play the hero. True history dont matter when its about fame and $$$. Without Ocean Van Lines Malcolm would of not had copied it for 2nd place. Capt D
Methinks (10 months ago)
10 out of 10!
Tai Theguy (11 months ago)
@2:10 thats the inside of a truck's trailer, Not a shipping container
Rainy (11 months ago)
shipping container homes brought me here...
Andrew Gilbertson (11 months ago)
This is a great video, very well researched and explained. I work for a freight forwarding company, and am currently working on a training program for new recruits. Do you have any objection to my including your video as part of the content?
GOLDY SARASWAT (11 months ago)
thanks a lot for this knowledge full video your video help me in exam thank you so much
Alex Heschong (11 months ago)
Man, your narration skills have improved so much over the years. It's amazing to hear your voice in this video. It's so different than what I'm used to now.
d3u1d4e (11 months ago)
So now is a great time to become a Siberian pirate.
Ali Labeeb Alkoka (1 year ago)
I loved this video!!! It was greatly appreciated and Informational video. I actually learned something that has Global influence on many levels. But is offend or actually never thought about.
zamarco (1 year ago)
No italian subtitle very bad
FaiR (1 year ago)
I hate when videos tell me I've not heard of things I have heard of
Lazlow Rave (1 year ago)
Duden Ive been subscribed for a while and Im back peddling through your videos and this one is likely my favorite. Love your channel.
Andrew Kofink (1 year ago)
I definitely expected a video about Docker. :P
Trygve Evensen (1 year ago)
What about cardboard and plastic?
dlwatib (1 year ago)
Why did you think we might not have heard of containerization? Wherever you go, there they are. Containers are everywhere. People even try to make buildings out of used containers. Oh, and by the way, there is more than one size of container. At 1:05 you can clearly see that there are two distinct sizes of containers and the larger size can fit atop two of the smaller size.
Anthony Lafayette (1 month ago)
There were 20, 35, 40 and 45 footers when I went to sea. The 35 footers weren't around long, Sealand was the only company to use them that I know of.
Rezaur Rahman Deepto (1 year ago)
5:23 "Our clothes from Bangladesh." :')
Aaron (1 year ago)
Before watching this I made a bet with this video that I know about the invention. Wendover Productions, you now owe me 5€.
Phil Conti (1 year ago)
Dude, we cant even decide what way toilet paper goes
sam jonas (1 year ago)
At 5:27, does anyone else hear pipping instead of shipping
IntarwebUser (1 year ago)
Heh heh, but those scenes in the movies of sailors loading the goods aboard ship are so classy! I can't say a scene of a container being loaded has the same charm. ;)
DagarCoH (1 year ago)
So, essentially it is standardization... for containers. Standardization in general is a huge economic boost due to more efficiency wherever it is applied.
Guilherme sampaio de oliveira (1 year ago)
Automation of the boats can make it cheaper thought.
Valkor Odinson (1 year ago)
this is the best youtube channel hands down
Pladimir Vutin (1 year ago)
You guys should go watch some Maritime or Merchant Marine channels, they go over all the different types of containers. Some of them are quite brilliant.
JonatasAdoM (1 year ago)
But planes don't carry containers!
Max Crankshaft (1 year ago)
This subject is fascinating, we had to study this in the International Baccalaureate Geography course!!!
Paula Mais (1 year ago)
Unless you're Chinese 🙄
Michael Kun (9 months ago)
I'm part Chinese and I live in a country that isn't China. Yeah, I know, that exists?
Paula Mais (1 year ago)
Unless you're Chinese
Paula Mais (1 year ago)
TheZacman2 (1 year ago)
So the best invention ever is a box? It seems like common sense to me!
Paula Mais (1 year ago)
My dads friend lives near Oakland
twistr (1 year ago)
Paula Mais awh for real?