“The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Whenever reports are issued about congestion and logjams in and around container terminals, the cause of each crisis is laid at the feet of rapid and unexpected growth. The consequent lack of storage space in these hard-pressed terminals, the time-consuming nature of offloading and storage operations, and even the diminishing ability to retrieve and deliver offloaded containers all contribute to the many unnerving delays in this 21st century system of distribution. In the present scheme of things, however, except where labor disagreements arise, hardly anyone could criticize port authorities and terminal personnel in their efforts to introduce efficiencies and acceptable innovations in order to avoid or untangle inevitable tie-ups.
A century ago, when people relied upon horse and wagon for highway travel and transport, there was never a lack of attention to innovative measures in an effort to make this mode of conveyance more efficient. Upgrading, improved designs, new ideas and inventions were everyday occurrences in those days, just as they are today. There was always opposition to change, and there was always derisive criticism, but practical and cost-effective innovations eventually held sway. The term now given to those advancements and developments in years past is … progress.
When you nodded in acknowledgment to those difficulties mentioned in the first paragraph above, had you forgotten the words used in the opening paragraph of the “Home” page of this website? There it is stated that, “ … the most efficient, space saving, timely and cost effective transport of goods to the consumer is achieved by creating space, eliminating most of the steps required in traditional methods of handling containerized goods, and introducing an entirely new method of product distribution and delivery”. That statement spells out exactly what is required to eliminate the obstacles being encountered daily in every container yard in the U.S. Something new and different must be introduced. Something like an upgrading, an improved design, a new idea, or even a new invention … something like the invention described and pictured in this website, for example. By retrofitting this patented system in space-starved terminals, every one of the sought after benefits referred to in the opening paragraph above will be realized. Relief will be provided to every link in the supply chain and goods will flow uninterruptedly and at reduced cost to the end users. Years from now our children and grandchildren will look back with gratitude upon our persistent efforts to improve the distribution system and chalk it up to … progress.
Advancement almost always entails heavy costs and personal sacrifice, and such was the case in the slow and steady changeover to steam and gasoline power. Unlike the expensive transition to the horseless carriage, however, retrofitting our condensed storage, retrieval and delivery system into existing terminals will be relatively quick and inexpensive. In most instances, if not all, the entire facility will be fabricated and put into operation at no cost to the community or to the port authority … and none of the existing expansion plans now on drawing boards are being offered in this way.
[This is a reprint of The Future Is Now, dated October 28th, 2004 … because “the more things change, the more they remain the same”.]