A box big enough to hold the world

60th Anniversary of the first modern container voyage

Containerisation Anniversary banner

On April 26th, 1956, the modern container trade was born, when the Ideal-X departed for Houston, Texas from Newark, New Jersey carrying 58 35 foot long containers.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of a short trip that changed the world, we look at the backbone of modern trade and the strongest sector within DNV GL’s fleet - the container ship.

This trip was the brainchild of Malcom P. McLean, who lived to see his idea transform the world. The standardisation and mechanisation of trade that resulted reduced costs and shipping times, expanded trade routes and ushered in the modern era of global trade.

From the first class entries in the early 1970’s, DNV GL’s container fleet has grown into the largest in the world. Well over 2000 vessels, almost 40% of the global fleet have DNV GL as their trusted classification partner.

This leading position in container shipping has been built upon a depth of expertise and innovation that is second to none in classification. Many industry firsts and technological and operational advances have been the result of the work done by DNV GL engineers and experts, in cooperation with many industry partners.

Many of the most important features of the modern container ship were pioneered at DNV GL, including: the twin island design, 11 and 12 row loading in a Panamax Vessel, medium voltage systems for container ships combined with the requirements for the transportation of reefer containers, stowage plans based on a vessel’s trading route, FE analysis of hull lines, and LNG as a ship fuel.

And we are always looking for new ideas that will help create the next wave of container ship innovations, such as a ZERO emission hydrogen fuelled container feeder, a COGAS mega boxship, or a highly efficient LNG powered vessel.

To read more about our current containership services, as well as highlights and innovations from our history and today, please click on any of the links below.