Where Is All My Shit These Days?

How the drive and imagination of one entrepreneur changed the face of global trade

Jim Farina
5 min readOct 31, 2021


Photo by Rinson Chory on Unsplash

I have a role in logistics. It's a minuscule role in the broader context of the term, but it involves procuring, receiving, and moving products on a national scale for research purposes.

My job is getting increasingly more challenging as the supply chain suffers from the implications of the global pandemic. It's another aspect of daily life that we easily take for granted — before the pandemic, the movement of products from the manufacturer to the consumer felt seamless. How is that possible? It was primarily due to the innovation of one guy.

The next time you sit down with a cup of coffee, check your phone for new messages and start to work on your laptop, consider that they all likely made a similar journey at one time before reaching you. There's a good chance that they spent some time inside of a shipping container.

You've seen them before — whether you've consciously registered it or not. You are familiar with these colorful containers that you see on trains, trucks, and ships. It's even become something of a trend to repurpose and retrofit them to become modern living spaces.

In Marc Levison's book, The Box, you'll see how the slow and costly shipping process was transformed into an industry with an impact reaching far beyond the world of only moving goods.

Malcolm McLean, a self-made trucking mogul battling rigid regulations, began container shipping

I imagined that the concept of container shipping was conceived by someone connected to the maritime realm. An outsider named Malcolm McLean invented it in the trucking business.

It was just after World War II when just about everything was subject to strict regulation. Prices were fixed, including the cost of shipping. It was killing the competition. The Interstate Commerce Commission, or the ICC, only allowed companies to haul approved goods on approved routes and at agreed rates. It was all about the order with little regard for efficiency.



Jim Farina

Serving only the freshest, organic content. Writing prepared with the best quality ingredients, easy to digest and shareable. jimfarina @att.net