Sydney Maritime Museum Celebrates Shipping Containers
The humble shipping container has changed the world out of recognition since 1958 when they were invented. A new exhibition in the National Maritime Museum in Sydney celebrates the way they have.
The moon and back twice over?
So many things we take for granted in our world have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres to get to our living rooms and even the gadgets in our pockets.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the curator of the container exhibition Dr Mary-Elisabeth Andrews sat in a small room, where she estimated all the goods in that room had travelled a combined journey of 2.5 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. One example she gave was some pancakes topped with strawberries:
“The eggs, butter, milk, sugar and flour are all produced locally,” she said. “But the vanilla essence and bicarb soda put in some rather large distances. The vanilla would have come from Madagascar, and the bicarb soda was mined in Canada, and synthesised in China. Total distance by sea: 41,881 kilometres.” Yes – a simple pancake will have travelled more than one circumference of the Earth before you munch it for breakfast.
You can see other examples of the journeys that the things you have around have travelled in the video below:
The maritime museum is free to enter and you can explore the world of containers there until next winter 2018.
Beyond simple logistics
The National Maritime Museum has shone a light on one way in which shipping containers have changed the world but that isn’t the full story. Here at Gateway Container Sales we specialise in enabling people to send the metal boxes on the next phase of their life journey.
Shipping containers have taken the world of architecture by storm, whether as simple secure storage boxes that you might keep in your yard, swimming pools, mansions or giant apartment complexes and shopping malls.
Here at the Gateway Gazette we look every week at the vast array of uses people have found for containers, that may only engage in globetrotting for one trip before being dumped and otherwise left to rot. People have found all sorts of uses for a 40ft shipping container and they really have had an impact on our world beyond moving the components of our iPhones 100,000 kilometres just to be in our pockets for a couple of years.
Changing the whole world…
We sometimes talk of how some object or another has ‘changed the world’, but where the latest iteration of the iPhone may give someone social confidence for 10 more minutes of their lives, the shipping container has genuinely changed the world. Here in Australia in the 1940’s if someone had a Swedish sofa in their home they will have had to travel halfway around the world to get it and then ship it back over several months. It certainly wouldn’t have cost a few hundred dollars in today’s money and been picked up from their local Ikea!
If the flow of container traffic around the world stopped tomorrow we would be set back 50 years in a sudden jolt. Your writer’s father was just graduating from school in 1958 and remembers his first banana, an exotic, black mushy thing that had arrived in London from the Caribbean. Now they come chilled and unripe by shipping container for ripening at a special depot and your writer’s daughter takes them for granted as being greeny-yellow and so fresh they may have been cut off the tree yesterday. An iPhone X can’t do that for the world!
Need a used shipping container for your next project?
Contemplating your own shipping container project? Need an extra 40 feet of storage or just want to send a shipment of goods overseas?