Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Made in Japan

Wars allowed for the rapid adoption of interchangeable parts (guns for Napolean), electrification (WW1 factories) and containerization (Vietnam military supplies), collectively creating the wealth of the Western World.
... during the Vietnam war ... as early as 1965 the military build-up was being hampered by what the journalist Marc Levinson calls “the greatest logistical mess in the history of the US armed forces”. In The Box, Levinson’s new book about the shipping container, he argues that container shipping provided the answer. Once the military was sold on the idea, there were two swift consequences: a dramatic expansion of container shipping to US forces in Europe, and fleets of empty ships sailing back from Vietnam, offering cheap rates to the rapidly expanding Japanese manufacturers. The rest is history.

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