The North Carolina Trucker Who Brought the World to America in a Box

How Malcom McLean's Shipping Containers Conquered the Global Economy by Land and Sea

On April 26, 1956, a crane lifted 58 aluminum truck bodies onto the deck of an aging tanker ship moored in Newark, New Jersey. Five days later, the Ideal-X sailed into Houston, Texas, where waiting trucks collected the containers for delivery to local factories and warehouses. From that modest beginning, the shipping container would become such a familiar part of the landscape that Americans would not think twice when they passed one on the highway, or saw one at the loading dock of the neighborhood grocery.

The intermodal shipping …

More In: global economy

How the Internet and E-Commerce Are Hacking Protectionism

What the U.S. Can Do to Help Small Online Entrepreneurs Tap the Global Marketplace

Consider two distinct worlds only a few miles from each other. One world is that of Jennifer and Nicole, recently featured in The New York Times, who have worked all their lives …

If You Want Strawberry Fields Forever, You Need Migrant Labor

A Year-Round Supply of Low-Priced Food Demands Seasonal Workers Free to Cross Borders

Two hundred years ago this year, British economist David Ricardo published his monumental work “On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.” In it he outlined a theory of international …

Are Trade Shocks to Blame for Our Extremist Politics?

Researchers Hunt for the Missing Link Between Import Imbalances and Populist Anger

Does economic competition from low-wage manufacturing countries like China make politics in Western countries more polarized?

The short answer is yes. The harder, unanswered question is: How, exactly?

A body of research …

In the New Global Trade Map, China Commands the Center

Asia's Ascendancy Will Test Western Democracies, as It Reshuffles Winners and Losers

Most maps you see in this country put the Atlantic Ocean at their center, with North America and Europe just off center stage. Asia is on a periphery.

My favorite map …

The “Aliens” Taking Our Jobs Are Not the Illegal Kind

The Backlash Against International Trade Is Rooted in Real but Misplaced Fears

Can we have all the adults in the room stand up and chant in unison: “Who’s Afraid of Global Trade? Who’s Afraid of Global Trade?” That should calm us down. …