Globalization and Containerization and how the Modern World was Shaped

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Globalization is an ever-increasing social phenomenon affecting nations and peoples across the globe.  It has rapidly changed and transformed our world.  The world has become a a seamless and invisible web of interconnected parts despite all the borders.  Borders do not inhibit communication, business transactions, or the transfer of money and commodities.  As the following video illustrates, millions of parts and goods are transported across the world by air and mostly by sea.  The embedded video goes on to tell the life story of Malcolm McLean, a truck driver who used to truck bails of cotton from NC to NJ to the seaport.  It discusses how shipping was revolutionized with the creation of the concept of containerization which enabled a thriving global marketplace and why we can move cargo from remote parts of the world at minimal cost.

So why is an instructor of Homeland Security interested in globalization and containerization ??  Well, firstly, globalization is one of the most commonly mentioned reasons for the growth of terrorism.  Globalization is a mechanism by which countries exert control and power …as a consequence, many countries impacted by globalization have objected to the “Westernization” of their cultures.

Secondly, global commerce is utterly dependent on the movement of shipping containers.  Containers carry about 95% of the world’s international cargo.  So containerized shipping is the principal way of transporting goods and material throughout the world,  however, since the 9/11 attack on America, containerized shipping has required the USA to implement important security measures to identify high-risk containers and pre-screen those containers without slowing down  the movement of trade.

The following TED-Ed video provides interesting history on the development of the concept of containerization.  I would like to develop this video into a lesson plan that addresses transportation security and the importance of containerized shipping to our economy.

Thanks for reading!!

Ann Testa

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