Bleary eyed, I tore open my sachet of Quaker Oats, dumped it into a bowl, popped some milk in, and set the microwave to whirr for two minutes. This cost me. Usually it’s a bit of bran, cold milk, and it’s wolfed down in T-minus three minutes, give or take four. I hadn’t factored in the other variables and I missed my bus into work. No way was I waking up earlier, no deal.
A revelation hit me the next morning. I dried my hair while my porridge was rotating in the background, which bought me more time to scoff the blonde magma. Normally I’d separate the two – a foolish decision in hindsight. This sweet symphony of white noise and heat meant I caught my bus on time, and as each regular shuffled on at their usual stops and took up their positions, it made me question their morning routines. Were they chasing efficiency too?
Enter logistics hall-of-famer and the father of containerization Malcom McLean. Back in the 1930’s he’d parked his truck dockside and watched in growing disbelief as workers laboriously wheeled goods over to the side of a ship, attached them to slings, and precariously hoisted them into designated spots. Frustration led to a flash of inspiration: let’s just bung all this stuff in containers and have trucks slide them onto ships.