Sample Research Paper on Containers

International trade plays a key role in the economies of various countries. This has however been made possible because of the demand of various goods and supplies across the globe, which has created the supply chain where goods move from the manufacturers enterprises to the consumer. In such an aspect, logistics also play an important role, where goods are conveyed to various locations through multiple means, either through freight, sea, rail or road each depending with the suitability.

            This however depends on various factors which are considered before a shipment is made. One of the methods of shipping goods and suppliers to various destinations is containerization. This is mainly the process of consolidating different sets of units into a container for transportation (Gunther & Kim, 2005). The different consolidated units are further moved through multiple means to the intended destination via means of transportation. This could either be through ship, rail or road or a combination.

            In an instance where multiple modes of transport are used, the approach is referred to as intermodal transportation. In this, the use of containers is much vivid, with it being the most popular means of intermodal transportation, where suppliers or manufacturers transport their goods to the consumers. This approach is very popular in the global trade arena, with almost every supplier using the method in order to ship goods and suppliers to the consumer. In overseas locations, goods and suppliers are stored in containers, which are loaded into ships then sent as a consignment to the consumer in far destinations. The intermodal traffic has continued to rise, with every stage of transportation consisting of a combination of such methods with goods and supplies being put in containers.

The rise in intermodal transportation as evident in many parts of the globe, has led to a steep rise in the use of containers as the most preferred means of transporting goods and supplies to various destinations. This is also evident by various upgrades and construction of port facilities, berths and other containers handling equipment in order to handle containers arriving or departing a given port. This is in light with an increase in the number of containers plying international sea routes to inland destinations thereby calling for an intermodal approach to facilitate access to such areas.

            In most logistical arrangements, the use of containers takes the largest chunk in this type of transportation where many suppliers prefer them for transporting goods and supplies. In global trade for example where goods and supplies have to be moved across the high seas, containers are the most popular used where they are used to house the cargo and other shipments destined for foreign markets. In this, cargo is mostly placed inside containers and shipped using large shipping lines that ply international waters, with the majority of shipping lines using containers to ship goods and supplies.

            The approach in the use of containers in the intermodal transport of goods and supplies is due to the convenience in the use of such containers during shipment, with almost 98% percent of cargo being transported using multiple methods apart from air transport. This clearly indicates how the use of containers is much popular in the transportation of supplies across various destinations. In typical rail, road and sea transportation, the use of containers is becoming indispensable with traffic of cargo moved by such means growing day by day.

The current global trade landscape favors an intermodal transport system where the use of

shipping containers and normal carriage of cargo in containers to inland destinations is in-

dispensable. Its widespread use is due to convenience during transportation, given statistics

indicate that close to all cargo can be accommodated inside containers. This is evident in the

current landscape, where a majority prefers containerized cargo irrespective of the bulkiness of

goods and supplies being transported.

            It has become the most popular mode of transportation connecting the different markets

around the globe, with millions of containers being moved through a combination of both to their

destinations, hence cementing the fact as the most popular mode of transporting cargo in the

current trade landscape. However, in as much as this trend is due to an outburst in international trade, it is also due to the changes in the transport system. This is because of the position of certain markets, mainly where countries have no connection to international sea routes. This aspect makes the mode of transportation to be most popular in such settings, as most rely on international water ways to be able to ship goods and supplies in containers, to landlocked countries thereby increasing the traffic and need within the intermodal transport setup, while at the same time maintaining shipment in containers.

Intermodal transport depends on container use, with this contributing much in its uptake.

Most transporting trucks, trains and other carriers have configured their carriage systems to

accommodate containers, hence signaling the rise and uptake in the use of containers to transport

goods and supplies. As a result of this, it is becoming an in-dispensable mode of transportation

with its popularity rising within the global trade arena.

An in-depth overview of shipments indicate the wide use of containers in the intermodal

transport system, with many countries moving goods and supplies to thousands of locations both

locally and internationally through a combination of shipping lines, trucks and rail. In high seas,

suppliers of goods depend on containers as a mode of shipment where cargo destined for far

locations are loaded and transferred to the end users.

In most developed countries such as the United States, containers are used in almost

every area, with the country developing many kilometers of road to support transportation of

goods and supplies to various destinations by use of trucks. These trucks carry loads of cargo on

containers, shipping this cargo to their destinations. It is evident within the supply chain

network of many countries, with most relying on container transportation, a mode of transport

that has become popular these days, with trucking companies, shippers and end consumers

preferring containerized cargo.

Transportation through the use of containers has gained momentum as the most popular

mode of transportation. This is also supported by the fact that many shipments across the globe

must involve the use of containers. In normal circumstances, this involves the use of both sea and

road transportation or sea by rail transportation where either way can support the containers

during transportation (Sudalaimuthu & Raj, 2009). In this, most trucking companies have also designed their trucks to accommodate any type of container, due to the growing demand and use of containers. In addition to this, the preference in the use of containers is also evident in most rail networks, with many rail companies following suit in terms of designing their trains to allow for carriage of containers to other destinations.

The popularity in the use of containers has grown from a regional perspective to become an

internationally accepted mode of shipment where almost all shipping lines, agents and customers

are pushing its usage to higher limits. Its convenience and its ability of being conveyed

efficiently through the multimodal transport system gives it an edge over other modes of


Containerization, as commonly referred to in the international domain remains popular

with the intermodal transport system. This is because almost all vessels can handle containers

conveying cargo and other supplies, making it most convenient upon unloading from ships to far

destinations. Additionally, a key aspect notable to the popularity in the use of containers involved in the multi-modal type of logistics, is the convenience as driven by international shipping lines in the delivery of cargo to other markets. Its popularity is due to convenience with most shipping lines finding it easy to consolidate shipments destined to various destinations, an aspect that is mainly driven by overseas supplies, who find it to be economical in shipping goods and supplies (Lun et al, 2010).

            In considering international logistics and international supply chains, containers are most popular in moving goods and supplies. This can be ascertained by looking at the number of goods in tonnage that are shipped through ports, and then delivered to end consumers via either rail or road or a combination of the same. In addition to this, the continued expansion of port facilities, rail networks and introduction of other international destinations clearly depicts how

popular containerization is becoming, with international markets such as China, Belgium, U.S.A and parts of Europe are developing intermodal infrastructures to support the international supply chain.

            In the past 30 years, marine transportation through the use of containers has grown immensely, due to the massive capital investments that shipping lines involved in international trade have put in place (Gunther & Kim, 2005). The sudden rise has also necessitated the construction of container terminals depicting the growing nature of inter-cargo deliveries where a larger percentage use containers to ship goods and suppliers to international markets.

            The popularity and growth in the use of containers and the further transportation of cargo through trucks has grown. This compared to shipments arriving aboard aircrafts show that only a smaller percentage of cargo are delivered through air, where in most cases involving small parcels and deliveries that are smaller in nature.

            This will continue to rise in the near future due to seamless borders and an overhaul of container handling stations, which signals the changing landscape in containerization. These containers are becoming popular due to convenience, and other myriad of factors which will push their adoption to higher levels in the near future.

            Considering also the developments in marine technology, where ships are designed to convey large containers to other destinations, the popularity in the use of containers will surge coupled with the trend and developments of international trade. Its use will be popular than currently recorded, more established to safely convey goods and supplies. It is the mode of transportation to watch in the 21st century, and further moving forward.


Günther, H. O., & Kim, K. H. (2005). Container terminals and automated transport systems: Logistics control issues and quantitative decision support. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Günther, H. O., & Kim, K. H. (2005). Container terminals and automated transport systems: Logistics control issues and quantitative decision support. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Lun, Y. H. V., Lai, K., & Cheng, T. C. E. (2010). Shipping and logistics management. London: Springer.

Sudalaimuthu, S., & Raj, A. S. (2009). Logistics management for international business: Text and cases. New Dehli: Prentice Hall of India.