The Container | Johan Norberg’s New and Improved


How did simple metal boxes contribute to history’s biggest reduction in poverty? In the series premiere of Johan Norberg’s New and Improved, Norberg tells the story of the humble shipping container and how these standardized storage units dramatically changed our world.

With minor exceptions, just about everything you buy—or some part of it—came from another country. Before it ends up on a store shelf or dropped off at your front door, it spends some time in a shipping container. But it wasn’t always that way.

The invention of standardized shipping containers allowed vastly more people to participate freely in the world economy, forever improving commerce and making all of us better off through free trade.


Marc Levinson, The Box

Tim Harford, Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy

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Learn more about Johan Norberg’s New and Improved and sign up to receive series updates at

Follow Johan Norberg on Twitter @JohanKNorberg

Johan Norberg is an author, lecturer and documentary filmmaker, born in Sweden. He is Executive Editor at Free To Choose Media as well as a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. and the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels. He received his M. A. in the History of Ideas from the University of Stockholm.

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