For an intermodal blog, it is important not to forget probably the main reason for the shipping industry, the shipping container. The military is largely responsible for the advent of the steel container. Prior to WWII dry goods were still shipped in crates, manhandled by cranes and longshoresmen. This was a fairly time consuming and unefficient way to ship dry goods. Out of necessity, the military started looking at different options, and so the steel shipping container was born. At first they were manufactured in all kinds of sizes. For the private sector, containers held the promise of secure, dry storage of cargo and controlled climates and added shelf life for perishables. Yet, despite favorable reports about the use of containers, the concept of containerization seemed far-fetched to all but the most forward-thinking in the early 1950s. For containerization to move forward, the boxes had to become standardized. The International Standards Organization (ISO) became the regulating body. The boxes were standardized to certain sizes in order to transload from ship to rail to truck within the USA and Internationally so containers could move smoothly from worldwide port to port. For more information on modern day containers, I found a good blog view http://tammy29.wordpress.com/2009/04/. Keep up the good work and as always you can find me at www.InnovaIndustries.net.