Trade

Episode 500: The Humble Innovation At The Heart Of The Global Economy

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18 min 38 sec
 
The container carrying the Planet Money women's T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia. i i

The container carrying the Planet Money women's T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia. Eric Helton for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Helton for NPR
The container carrying the Planet Money women's T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia.

The container carrying the Planet Money women's T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia.

Eric Helton for NPR

On today's show: the story of an often-overlooked innovation that's essential to the global economy. The innovation is a box. A big, metal box.

The standard shipping container has completely transformed commerce in the past 50 years. It's part of the reason the Planet Money men's T-shirt comes from cotton grown in Mississippi, spun into yarn in Indonesia, and sewn together in Bangladesh.

On today's show, we see the shipping container in action, and hear the story behind it.

For much more, see the 'Boxes' chapter of our online T-shirt project.

You can listen to all of our t-shirt podcasts, online here.


Music: The Maine's "I'm Leaving" and Journey's "Open Arms" Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

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