The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, Second Edition with a new chapter by the author

Category: Engineering
Author: Marc Levinson
This Month Hacker News 1


by hangonhn   2017-09-04
Hang on. The longshoreman part is a bit more complicated than that. Longshoreman was actually not a shit job. The workers had a great deal of flexibility and good pay for the hours worked. The labor unions protected them too. What caused that job to decline and disappear was the container box. The container box moved the packing and unpacking part from the source and destination instead of the ports. During the Vietnam war, the US military basically forced the ports to adopt container boxes. This dramatically increased the efficiency of shipping and eradicated longshoremen jobs. Nowadays though, the people operating the cranes loading and unloading the container boxes from/to container ships actually make 6 digit salaries.

The problem with shit jobs is that they tend to be "muscle" based jobs in unpleasant conditions, which makes them vulnerable to automation and mechanization.

(Source for all this is: The Box (