Ever since globalization transformed the transport sector, national boundaries have become permeable to penetration by trade, creating the need for flexible transport solutions. Intermodalism and containerization were the by-products of this era and were poised to metamorphosize transport of "general cargo", moving it 'seamlessly' through sea and land arteries. Forty years ago, the physical process of exporting or importing goods was arduous. Goods needed to be transported by lorry to the port, unloaded into a warehouse and then reloaded into the ship 'piece by piece'.
Malcolm McLean's idea of containerization changed the basics of cargo transport by standardizing the dimensions of the container and simultaneously improving the productivity of ports by mechanizing handling of container-carrying 'cellular' ships and reducing their handling to a few hours only. Unitisation helped elimination of multiple handling of cargo and made transfers quick, cheap and easy. As containerization came to stand for 'cargo care', it grew by leaps and bounds the world over.