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Handling containers

A series of photographs taken on 29 October 1971 at the OCL berth at Tilbury, showing how containers have simplified port operations.

A container being lifted off a lorry.

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A container being lifted off a lorry.
A container being raised off a lorry for loading on to OCL's 'Moreton Bay' at Tilbury. The container will have been filled at the producer's or distributor's premises rather than at the dock. This saves considerable labour and time at the dock.

A container being raised by a gantry crane.

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A container being raised by a gantry crane.
A view from below of a container being raised for placement on to the 'Moreton Bay'. It gives a good sense of the scale of the cranes used. In a short time the gantry crane can do work that would have taken many stevedores several days.
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A container being loaded on to the 'Moreton Bay'.

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A container being loaded on to the 'Moreton Bay'.
A container being lowered into the 'Moreton Bay' at Tilbury - the modern equivalent of loading a ship.

The ASEA crane alongside the 'Moreton Bay'.

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The ASEA crane alongside the 'Moreton Bay'.
The containers are moved on to the 'Moreton Bay' by the awesome 40-tonne ASEA gantry crane.
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Containers in the stack shed.

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Containers in the stack shed.
The stack shed at the OCL berth at Tilbury in 1971. This is the modern equivalent of the old warehouse, but instead of a clutter of different commodities and large numbers of workers, there is only a desolate shed with identical containers. The contrast with the legions of warehousemen who used to perform such work is striking.

Positioning a crane over a container in stack shed.

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Positioning a crane over a container in stack shed.
Moving goods from the shed to the quay by crane.
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Refrigeration connections on the 'Moreton Bay'.

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Refrigeration connections on the 'Moreton Bay'.
Containers soon became more than glorified storage boxes. Special connections on 'reefer' (or refrigeration container) ships allow the carriage of perishable and frozen goods.

Container cells in the 'Moreton Bay'.

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Container cells in the 'Moreton Bay'.
Container cells in the 'Moreton Bay', showing how efficiently the containers are stored, with the available space used to maximum effect.
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Related Images1 Images
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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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