1941

US Government uses small standard-size containers that provide a means of quickly and efficiently transporting goods and materials via transport ships.

2006

Container leasing growth expands dramatically, serving the needs of shipping lines and their underlying clientele.  Shipping lines progressively became aware of the importance of container leasing versus purchasing, as it enables lines to devote greater capital for fleet expansion, maintenance and operations.

1955

Trucking magnate Malcom McLean buys the Pan-Atlantic Steamship Company, to form a container shipping enterprise, later known as Sea-Land. It was at this time that standardized new 35 ft (10.7 m) x 8 ft (2.4 m) x 8 ft 6 in (2.6 m) Sea-Land containers were developed, the length determined by the maximum length of trailers then allowed on Pennsylvanian highways. Each container had a frame with eight corner castings that could withstand stacking loads.

2009

Approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is moved by containers stacked on transport ships;  26% of all container trans-shipment is carried out in China. For example, in 2009 there were 106 million trans-shipments in China (both international and coastal, excluding Hong Kong), 21 million in Hong Kong (which is listed separately), and only 34 million in the United States.

1972

The International Convention for Safe Containers (regulated by the inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organization on the safe handling and transport of containers) decrees that every container traveling internationally be fitted with a CSC Safety-approved placard.  This holds essential information about the container, including age, registration number, dimensions and weights, as well as its strength and maximum stacking capability.

2014

1,631 million tons of seaborne trade is reported.  Container leasing continues to flourish. 

1980

102 million tons of seaborne trade is reported.

2015

Over the medium term, analysts predict the economies of Asia will see the fastest growth in merchandise exports, with India and Vietnam averaging over 10% annual growth in US dollar value terms, and China will not be far behind. Goods exported from advanced European economies - the UK, France and Germany - are forecast to expand more slowly, at around 3-4% a year, as the USA is set for trade growth to average around 6% a year.