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Containerization in Maritime Shipping, Essay Example

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Words: 334

Essay

The dominance of containerization within contemporary logistical thought is the result of the multitude of advantages it offers in contrast to traditional as well as alternative forms of shipping. Such advantages are also explicit in maritime logistics, in so far as the containerization approach successfully addresses numerous relevant and persistent problem areas faced by the logistical planner.

With containerization the logistics of transportation are ameliorated in diverse ways. Firstly, transportation routes can be radically simplified, offering so-called “door to door service” in cases where the supply factory’s site and delivery site both have maritime access. (Branch, 2000, p. 203) Logistical speed is also achieved with containerization, as empirical data clearly shows an increased speed of maritime shipments employing containerization as opposed to, for example, break bulk cargos. (Branch, 2000, p. 203) Containerization has ultimately shown itself to be so efficient that the investment in port equipment to minimize the time cargo remains in port has proved an economically viable strategy. (Branch, 2000, p. 203)

The logistical success of maritime containerization is also demonstrated in the effect it has had on the goods being transported. For example, it minimizes the need for additional packaging, (Branch, 2000, p. 203) in as much as the container itself functions as a mode of transport and a type of packaging simultaneously. Furthermore, containerization minimizes the damaging of goods as well as so-called “pilfering” of goods while in transit. (Branch, 2000, p. 203)

In this regard, the efficiency that maritime containerization has created for logistics arguably finds a clear parallel with the air freight industry. To the extent that both employ containers, the advantages inherent to containers now become common to both modes of transportation. Furthermore, to the extent that intermodal concepts are utilized in logistical planning, the parallels between maritime shipping and air freight shipping can become a seamless continuity since their fundamental unit is the container (of course this requires a standardization of containers across the maritime and air freight paradigms).

Works Cited

Branch, Alan. (2000). International Purchasing and Management. London: Thompson Publishing.

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