Shipping Containers and Trade Increases

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The invention of shipping containers had an enormous effect on international trade, apparently much larger than trade agreements. A team of European researchers discovered that adoption of shipping containers resulted in a 320% increase in trade over five years compared to a 45% increase over twenty years resulting from a free trade agreement. In addition to the monetary gains, containers radically reduced theft rates and time required to unpack and pack ships, thus reducing time in port.

–from The Economist

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