Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Container Storeroom

Industrial storage may not seem like the key to globalisation, but the shipping container has revolutionised the global economy, enabling the safe transit of bulk volume across huge distances, reducing the cost of transport from 30% of the price of a product to just 1%. Shipping containers are also used as homes, retail space and even as a debating space during Manchester's Future Everything festival in 2010.

An obvious extension of the container's internal logic is to reuse these ubiquitous boxes, not only for storage en-route, but as storage in lieu of permanent warehousing at ports or at factory sites. This provides companies with added locational flexibility ensuring components only hit the factory floor as and when needed. The implication is that business can save on valuable floor space, which would normally be used to store stuff.

It also means that the traditional landscape of the port has changed radically. Shorn of its romanticism, the modern port has few cranes, warehouses or even dockers. Rather they resemble the port facility at Irlam, which comprises a single lonely crane surrounded by containers and an access road.

Port Strategy - Storeroom key

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