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Sea-Land dock
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This photograph shows a Sea-Land container ship being unloaded at the container port in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Trucks carrying Sea-Land trailers (containers) are visible in the foreground. This photo appeared on page 3 of a 1966 Sea-Land brochure.
Physical Description
Date Made:
Dates Used:
1966 - 1966
New Jersey

Sea-Land Service, Inc. began as a subsidiary of McLean Industries, Inc., the company founded by trucking executive Malcom McLean. McLean is credited with developing the first modern intermodal freight operation. In 1956 he loaded truck trailers (containers) onto a ship and sent them by water to a distant port. There, they were lifted onto trucks for overland transport to their final destinations. This "truck-water-truck" concept eliminated the need to handle the freight inside the containers multiple times and resulted in significantly lower transportation costs. By 1966, Sea-Land boasted the world's largest fleet of container ships, had over 18,000 containers in service, and served 22 ports in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Okinawa, and Europe.

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