People Move Containers! Cargo Containers Part II
excerpt of article by Dennis J. O’Rourke, CSP, Historiographer, OSHA Part 1919 Maritime Surveyor
Millions of tons of cargo are being shipped worldwide daily by drivers, operators, riggers, and lashers. New labor-saving equipment has reduced the number of their ranks by three-quarters. With robots and automatic equipment in the planning, future reductions are expected.
Since the ocean container industry started, little had changed to the box, picked up at the top corners, stacked, locked at their lower corner castings, and moved. However, at major ports, how they are moved and how many are placed on each ship is practically (save the ocean) unrecognizable. Simply stated, the tremendous transportation cost savings wanted by global cargo supply chains, or ‘Cheaper by the Thousands,’ is a quest of modern shipping – yet we do it with far fewer people. The term ‘Bigger is Better’ is flawlessly applied to this world phenomenon of shipping, desired by nations since China traded with the Mesopotamians.
Read the full feature article in the December 2022 issue of Wire Rope & Sling Technology Magazine while it’s available online. Or subscribe to get the bi-monthly print magazine subscription.