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From the First...
Although a variety of unitised and intermodal freight transport systems had been developed and introduced in both North America and Europe, the container shipping business is usually regarded as starting in April 1956, when Malcom McLean’s company SeaLand organised the first shipment of containers from Port Newark to Houston on the converted tanker Ideal X (above)

...to the Largest
While there were only 58 containers on the Ideal X, containerships now have capacities of over 9000TEU. Pictured, left, on its inaugural call at Felixstowe (on Wednesday 19 April 2006) is the 9449TEU COSCO Ningbo, the largest containership in the world. Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, the vessel has a gross tonnage of 109,149, a length of 351m and a breadth of 42.8m. The COSCO Ningbo is operating on the Asia Europe 1 (AE1)service, calling Shanghai-Dalian-Qingdao-Singapore-PortSaid-Rotterdam-Felixstowe-Hamburg-Antwerp-Singapore-HongKong-Shanghai

Recollections, Films and Books
Click on the buttons on the top of the page to view recollections from several pioneers of the industry, together with information about a Container History DVD and two books which have recently been published.

Click here to read a news item about the Anniversary on the BBC website.

Articles and photos should be sent to: secretary@containerownersassociation.org