Jervis History Blog: Era of Containerisation; First Container Ship: Ideal X

6.05.2020
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On April 26th 1956, the Ideal-X left the Port of Newark, New Jersey to the Port Houston, Texas. It carried 58 35-feet (8 feet wide by 8 feet high) containers along with bulk cargo. The 35 feet unit represented at that time the standard truck size in the United States. This first containership was converted under the initiative of Malcom McLean (1914-2001), a trucking magnate who saw the economic advantages and potential of containerization. More than ten times cheqper, particularly in terms of loading and unloading costs. 

In 1960, McLean was the founder SeaLand, a major container shipping line, which was purchased in 1999 by Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company. The Ideal X carried containers until 1965, when it was scrapped.

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