Container history 2-The world is changed by containers

Containers not only help us destroy the old economy, and also help us set up the new economy. Such as Busan and Seattle some sleepy port in the past, is now in the forefront line of huge ports all over the world. In addition, in the places where never have ports before, such as Britain and Felix and Malaysia’s Tanjung Pelepas, now have built a large number of new ports. Small towns now, away from the main population centers, using its cheap land and low wages, in order to attract those factories who no longer need to built near the port in order to realize cheap transport. There are thousands of products from the beginning to the end of the great industrial centers, now has given their ways to smaller, more specialized, constantly extended supply chain factories for the delivery of parts and semi-finished products of each other. While poor countries struggling to climb the ladder of economic development, but for them, a distant suppliers in the rich world is no longer a unrealistic dream. Huge industrial centers have mushroomed miraculously rise in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, but it is not just that into the cost of raw materials and deliver products have plummeted.

This kind of new economic layout, let manufacturers can easily export products to foreign countries as in peripheral areas, so people in the domestic business of the company will have a chance to become an international enterprise. However, if they do like this, they will soon find that cheaper transport will also benefit the Thai or Italian manufacturers. Those who just want to serve the local customers and don’t want to be international companies will realize that they have no choices, no matter like it or not, they all have to face the global competition, because the global market is getting closer and closer to them already. For those with the customer geographically nearby as a major advantage of the high cost of manufacturers, transportation cost can no longer provide shelter for them; despite the tariffs and time delay, New York clothing shirt manufacturers in the streets near Macy’s pioneer square is much close, but, by contrast, garment factories located in Malaysia can make a cheaper home and supplying shirts to Macy’s. By integrating formerly isolated factories into the network, the multinational manufacturers have factories in different countries became the international manufacturers, thus can choose the lowest manufacturing cost for specific product site, although because of cost or exchange rate changes, they still may have to shift production from one place to another place.In 1956, the world is full of local sales of small manufacturers;By the end of the 20th century, what kind of products, whether it’s purely local market is almost extinct.

Of course, this is a mixed blessing for workers. As consumers, the container has promoted the global trade, so they also can enjoy unlimited goods choice. According to a careful study of the United States in 2002, imports of goods is four times that of 1972, with the produce of consumers is almost equal to 3% of the whole economy(not included in the official statistics). Trade competition which come together with the growth promote the new products with remarkable speed, and keep the price down to ordinary families can enjoy. Cheap and easy to get imported consumer goods has greatly improved the living standards of the world.

As live on wages, the workers have good reason to be completely with the feelings of contradictions. In the decades after the Second World War, the destruction of the war caused a huge demand, and at the same time the low level of international trade suppresses the competitive factors. In this kind of abnormal environment, workers  and trade unions in North America, Europe and Japan have the ability to negotiate to constantly improve the wages and benefits, at the same time, the government’s plans also provides a more powerful safeguard. Working time is becoming more and more short, disability benefits become more generous about retiring at the age of 60 or 62 became the standard. However, the promoted container end the unprecedented rise. Lower transport costs further enhance the mobility of capital, which makes employers’ negotiations are more confident with the much different liquidity workers. In such a highly integrated world economy, the wages of workers in Shenzhen can restrict the wages in southern California, and when the French government ordered without pay cuts of implementing a shorter working week, they would find, is almost no hindrance to the low cost of making manufacturers can easily move abroad, so as to avoid the higher labor costs.

A modern container port is a factory, its scale is beyond imagination. In every garage (the world’s largest port has a lot of berth), can anchor a ship with 100 feet long and 140 feet wide ocean ship, there is nothing in addition to the metal container on the ship. Deck is filled with a row after row of the containers, and they are red, green, blue and silver. there are 15 to 50 crib every row, every crib 6-7 containers fold together. More containers below deck, they 6-8 a crib to pile up in the cargo bay. Structure to accommodate the crew compartment is down to the bottom of the driving bridge, and it can be seen toward the stern, across the container piled high. The residence of the crew is very small, rarely. A great ship set off from Hong Kong, can carry 3000 units of 40-foot containers, which are equipped with 100000-ton shoes, clothes and electronic products, after three weeks of sailing, around the Cape of Good Hope then arrived in Germany, and the ship may only 20 people in the whole trip.

 

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