The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger is a fascinating book. I read a portion of the book as part of a very enlightening Coursera business class, and now listened to the entire volume after joining a company in the industry.
The most insightful part of the story seems to me not the technical complexity of the containerization, but its societal aspect. Though the advantage of containers was obvious, the new approach threatened established interests at first. Later, however, the popularity of the container moved to another extreme – some cities jumped to invest more resources to improve their ports for container ships, but the ships did not always come.
The success of the container required the technology and people to come together at the point where the technology made sense, process generated clear benefits, and the people involved wanted to change their traditional approach. Everything started from the people 🙂