Container - the box that changed the world

Free outdoor exhibition

Sat 2 Nov 2019Sun 22 Mar 2020


WA Maritime Museum

Discover how the humble shipping container has revolutionised the way we live!

This free outdoor exhibition will lift the lid on the history and impact of containerisation—visitors can literally ‘step inside the box’ to learn about shipping, ports, cargo, the impact of containerisation on the ocean, the origins of everyday objects and even container architecture.

Container is housed in six colourful 20-foot shipping containers peppered along the port, from outside WA Maritime Museum trailing down to E Shed Markets.

Developed by the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Container arrives at Fremantle Port on Saturday 2 November thanks to an innovative partnership between WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle Ports and Freight & Logistics Council WA.

In today’s global world you may drink coffee from Brazil or a smoothie containing frozen fruit from China. You could be wearing clothes made in India, watching a TV made in Japan while sitting on a sofa containing wood from Argentina on a laminate floor manufactured in Sweden. All of this has been made possible by a rectangular steel box – the shipping container.

The exhibition has been embraced by the shipping industry with a large number of its key organisations coming on board to provide essential support to tell this important story.

The six containers are:

‘Ship’ - the history of the cargo industry before the invention of the container and the impact of its introduction.

‘Cargo’ - trade, customs, biosecurity and how perishable goods are transported around the world in the cold chain.

‘Port’ - the radical transformation of ports and port cities in Australia and around the world. It also gives visitors a peek behind the scenes at Port Botany, one of Australia’s busiest ports.

‘Ocean’ - the challenges mass shipping poses to our oceans, including lost shipping containers, cargo spills and acoustic pollution, and the current focus on sustainable shipping.

‘Build’ - the quirky and innovative ways containers are used beyond shipping, including ‘small homes’, food trucks, art installations and even swimming pools.

‘Things’ - a glass fronted container with a shop-front style window display demonstrating the origins of everyday objects in our homes.

Container is located at Victoria Quay within Fremantle Port. All are welcome.