Todd Lappin says: "Today is a major anniversary in the history of transportation and logistics, because today, the now-iconic steel shipping container celebrates its 50th birthday. No word on where to send presents or cake, but here's some background (From The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, by Marc Levinson):
By dramatically lowering freight costs, the container transformed economic geography. Some of the world's great ports - London and Liverpool, New York and San Francisco - saw their bustling waterfronts decay as the maritime industry decamped to new locations with room to handle containers and transport links to move them in and out. Manufacturers, no longer tied to the waterfront to reduce shipping costs, moved away from city centres, decimating traditional industrial districts. Eventually, production moved much farther afield, to places such as South Korea and China, which took advantage of cheap, reliable transportation to make goods that could not have been exported profitably before containerisation.