Container Ports: Somewhat Colorful
by Jeff Lewis

In September 2004, I joined my wife and a boatload of school children, transportation enthusiasts and homeless people on a ferry tour of the Port of Oakland, one of the first ports to focus on intermodal shipping containers.

Shipping companies have two choices, style-wise, when it comes to intermodal shipping:

A) Patchwork Quilt

B) Monochromatic (with a drop of orange)

They also are free express their personalities through accessorizing.

One style that is universally bad, even at a cargo port: heavy metal dad (although this man does get some credit for looking like Ronnie James Dio rather than Dee Snider).

This tour coincided with our purchase of a new digital camera and, subsequently, the learning of this lesson: in the hands of an unskilled photographer, pictures taken while leaning against the rail of a moving ferry boat can be blurry.

Fun Fact: First introduced in the 1950s, cargo containers dominate international trade because the 8' x 8' x 20-45' metal containers can be moved rapidly from ocean-going ships to rail, trucks or barges.

Since 1962, the Port of Oakland has spent $1.4 billion on cranes, landfills, rail lines, dredging and other infrastructure necessities, while making sure to maintain the fine views of San Francisco.

Not all views are quite so fine, however.

Text and images copyright Jeff Lewis, 2005. All rights reserved.

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