When I was a kid in the 1970s my father used to tell me that his job down by the docks near 39th Street and Third Avenue in Brooklyn was to run up and down the length of a conveyor belt all day with an oilcan. Then one day the conveyor belts and the job went away, thanks, he said, to containerization. Containerization is the use of steel boxes that can be filled with virtually any commodity and loaded from a vessel directly onto a truck or rail link. The major effect of containerization was the elimination of the need to unload ships crate by individual crate, and the permanent decline of New York City's ports. Containerization also gutted the waterfront workforce. My father used to joke that the least they could have done was give us a free shipping... More >>>