Anniversary gala to be held at Smithsonian Institution; industry leaders join to mark world-changing event
Washington, DC — The History of Containerization (HOC) Foundation, in conjunction with the Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII), will host the official gala honoring the 50th anniversary of containerization on April 27, 2006, in Washington, D.C.
The black tie dinner will be held in the Rotunda of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, exactly 50 years after Malcom McLean's historic inaugural ocean voyage of IDEAL X, the first vessel carrying containerized cargo, between the ports of New York/New Jersey and Houston, Texas.
Honorary Chairpersons for all HOC and CII anniversary events are Charles G. (Chuck) Raymond, chairman, president and CEO of Horizon Lines, LLC, the successor company to McLean's Sea-Land Service; and Irena Z. McLean, widow of Mr. McLean.
The HOC Foundation was established this year by those involved with CII and other industry leaders as a non-profit charitable organization to capture and preserve the history of the development and evolution of the sea-going shipping container and the industry it created, including the many individuals around the world who played a key role in containerization. The HOC Foundation intends to create a permanent exhibit for viewing by future generations.
The goal is to show how one simple idea of containerization revolutionized ocean shipping and dramatically expanded the pathways of global trade. The HOC history initiative will include the gala event and a permanent museum exhibition, along with CII's publication of a book on the first 50 years of containerization.
Other educational programs include a living history on video being produced by the Commonwealth Policy Institute Network (CPIN) and its director, Randolph G. Flood.
We want to ensure that the role of containerization in revolutionizing global trade is recognized rightly as one of the most significant commercial events in world history, said Michael B. Berzon, chairman of the HOC Foundation. The roots of the container revolution grew from one simple idea acted on 50 years ago by a humble truck driver from North Carolina — Malcom McLean. Today's world economy and our modern retail society would not exist without the container industry's incredible advancement over the past half-century.
Berzon, formerly of The DuPont Co., is North America marketing manager for the Port of Hamburg and president of Marlog Inc., a maritime logistics consultancy.
James Devine, president of New York Container Terminal, is HOC Foundation vice chairman.