There are around 6,000 cargo vessels out on the ocean right now, carrying 20,000,000 shipping containers, which are delivering most of the products you see around you. And among all the containers are a special subset of temperature-controlled units known … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars Cars House paint fertilizer, look around you pretty much. Every thing was delivered in a shipping container there are twenty million shipping containers now in the world carried by six thousand container vessels all moving literal tons of stuff back and forth over the ocean It all started in nineteen. Fifty six, when a trucker by the name of Malcolm Clean had an amazingly good idea. What if there were? The container that could come off a ship food goods and attached to a truck or a train, no need to move the goods from one container to the next goodbye to all the time and labour spent loading and unloading Mclean believed the shipping and could revolutionise the way goods moved around Malcolm Maclean
in a very, very wealthy man by nineteen. Eighty two. He was actually one of the four hundred richest Americans because of course, the shipping container did read they should eyes the way goods move. That's reporter Nicolet Willie New, deeper ports where belt for a new, deeper ships carrying more products. A cargo sl in the late nineteenth sixties, needed a crew of fifty a container ship five times. The size needed just eighteen people, Meanwhile, on shore, roughly three quarters of the hundreds of thousands of dockworkers who were needed to move goods on and off ships ended up loose their jobs. It only took one guy to operate the crane that lifted these big boxes. Macleans idea had created an incredibly more efficient global shipping industry, but there still one major problem. There were a lot of problems, bananas, grapes, cheese,
the shipping container worked well for dry cargo, like paper and cans and plastics, but perish more products were transported the same way they had been for decades as well. Cargo in the hold of specially designed refrigerated ships and in these refrigerated both the one giant cargo space could only be kept at one temperature, and the thing is that different products need different temperatures. Bananas to be at a higher temperatures and apples and apples needs he kept warmer than say frozen, meet someone ships were limited to carrying one thing at a time. United Fruit fleet of banana boats was perhaps the most famous example of these one item: ships. The result of sending massive amounts of protest in one ship like this was that when a ship arrived, import, flooded the area with thousands of pounds of a single commodity, so it was like bananas days and days and days and then the next week bushel
then, bushels of apples everywhere, the market is flooded. Food was wasted, plus. While these refrigerated ships were delivering all the produce, these shipping container industry was missing out on a lot of business. However, by the nineteen seventeen the container industry had started to build refrigerated containers, which it is my girl eight pleasure to tell you are referred to within the industry as refers I now and with an entirely straight face, but the real because they are designed weren't working, very well food which are both the destination run or mouldy, and no one understood why container industry. Had I refer problem and they needed help. My name is barber. Pratt refers me, your master, I'm the direct. Are we for services for Maersk Line today, that's Barber Pratt and
ask: is the biggest shipping company in the world, but back in the nineteen seventies, Barbara was just the college kid so this professor at Cornell, knocked on my door and said a barber. Would you like to do some research? Barber was about but to graduate from Coronel with a degree in physics, she'd been planning to go to grad school, but she agree to defer for a year, due to work. Alongside her, professor in a team of researchers on a project for general foods, their mission was to understand what was going wrong with all these shipments Basically, we are the whole industry was blind to what was happening in transit. They would place thirty to forty three ten pounds worth of protests into account. And put it on a ship and then see what whatever happened. Destination? It was like now behind or number one or the Peters be rotten or underwrite. If only fifty percent The produce ended up in good shape. That's what would
consumed in the rest would be thrown in the trash. Barbara and her team decided the only way to see what was happening to the parties inside the containers was to follow the containers from farm to track to train to shit. They need a lab, but have to be a mobile lab, one that can move with the shipments and so, of course, barbers research team would build their lab in a ship. Container. It's really be only thing that made sense whether it was in the various terminals in the fields or even on board the ship to and connect up to, the other refrigerated containers that were moving on the ship to me on a what was going on inside the transit and a tower twenty. Two years old Barbara began traveling the world working and sums sleeping and of forty foot shipping container, we converted this country in order to basically a laboratory ourselves sustain laboratory so that we can
repeat, our science. While we were in transit, they worked with the company in southern New Jersey, the main mobile homes, to out that their shipping container, you know, make it a little cozier than we would have the front section which had awesome bunk bed in case we needed to stay overnight. There was a microwave, a shower and, of course, a refrigerator. It actually looked pretty cool with black and white. Floors and a window a small bullet, if window new ports are not known for being super safe, but it was fairly pleasant, but the heart of the mobile research lab was the computer and what's really funny about it. If we had a computer, which was the latest in greatest at the time But it was about two feet square by three feet: square by about eight feet tall, and that was basically gave us computing capability that a laptop has today attached
lab computer, where a hundred and fifty sensors connected to all the other adjacent containers by long gray, salt resistant wires. These wires sending back all kinds of information about what was happening in the containers. Temperature lady levels airflow concentrations of different atmospheric gas. Is starting in nineteen. Seventy eight Barbara, along with a small research crew, went with the mobile research lab to trail produce from its harvest on the farm to its arrival in their destination ports. We are in different countries in the Caribbean. We were in Asia, we were on the: U S: West Coast: U S EAST coast, we were over in Europe, so remember, Bob was only gonna. Do this for like a year to what happened. Basically, as I got hooked in the industry- and I just stay there, he kind of got hooked on refers The next seven years, Barb travelled back and forth across the globe with the shipping container lab. She got it
interest she wanted. She didn't have much time for sightseeing. We ran our tests and we were conducting our research and analyze in data as we could during the days when they were on land out in the fields and orchards. They sleep in hotels. But one person would usually stay behind and sleep in the bunk beds in the lab to keep an eye on the computer when they aboard the boat. Barbara would pass the time doing some embroidery face to face I was the only one embroidering on the cargo ship. She was kind of a rarity, a young twenty something woman on the high seas. I found out about fifth ten years later that someone senior in the organization had told the people that were around me when I was working that I had a black belt and correct, is so that they would know that. I could defend myself, but you didn't have any actual. Martial arts skin
Now I did not at all, but Barb had plenty of others. Girls, she in her. Were the first to map airflow in a river and the first to fix, How much produce could be stuffed in before air circulation started to suffer with frozen or you really need to do is keep it called with produce. What aid to do or with most of the produce, its breathing in responding product, and so what you to do in order to preserve its shelf. Life is too slow. Down the breathing and respiration that's going on based on our findings. The standard ventilation system of a standard reefer unit was completely redesigned air used to enter the container from the top improved design, cooler, air entered the container from the bottom, and then the air basically got forced up through the cargo which then allowed it to remove the heat that which is what the whole focus of the airflow
was their research also influenced the ways the growers were dry, prepare and pack their products to be shipped off to ensure that freedom eddies could last two weeks on the ocean inside of a refrigerated tin. Can ensure The work that Barbara pride in her rotating cast of colleagues did, during their seven years at sea, led to a world where peruvian asparagus can reliably be found in american grocery stores, and New Zealand Kiwi. Fruit are readily available on british supermarket shelves, so you stay away, Can shipping stated shipping ever since you got sucked in one hand Nowadays, if you, if you want to figure out, what's going on inside of a refer, you don't have to be on the boat right not necessarily today, the reefer units are all run by microprocessors, so weak, and see the digital recordings of those units on internally once they get to their destination,
and these high tech refers, are so reliable and so finely calibrated that they are now taking business away from air cargo. Even for it, are basically affordable today, whereas in the past they were not is because they move via ocean. If today, all had to move air, they were not is because via ocean if they had to move via air, they would be very expensive for all of us, but we can bring in italian grapes we can bring in per. We can bring in other products into this country that are not typically grown here even bananas are shifting containers now to which is a descendant of United Fruit recently sold off there as to its banana. Only ships and now Mary is beginning to experiment, with controlled ripening on route inside the reefer, rather than in special facilities, a disturbing Centres all hail, the reefer deliverer perfectly right bananas
the global shipping industry like it or not, is an undeniable part of modern existence and, of course, its with its own problems. Yes, products. Not as fresh after they ve been at sea for two weeks in all, This refrigeration is really environmentally inefficient and its force in small farmers to compete in the cut throat global economy. Reef seem to embody everything. The local food movement is fighting, and you think that be barb mercies the local farmers. I grew up in actually I'm still farming, the same family farm aim. We grow a variety of different products, mostly fruits and vegetables. Barbara is no stranger to the realities of running a small farm today, but he likes that small farmers can have an opportunity to access a global market. Bob is well aware of the value of eating local, but she defence, importance of just eating more fruits and vegetables. Yes, it's important to eat. Local
but in January and February there are no local fruits and vegetables that we can eat what has Happened over the years is that people are eating more fruits and vegetables in general because they have access to more products and higher quality products. Year round its legs Part two barbs research that we can eat, blueberries or tomatoes would have. We feel like which Barbara argues will make us eat them more in its all big as a reefer. Never not gonna be funny to me. Would you
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-14.