The box that changed the world

The nation’s lifeline, James Thomson, 1991. Reproduced courtesy James Thomson. ANMM Collection 00033939 Gift from James Thomson

It is impossible to overestimate the role of the humble shipping container in the making of today’s world.

  • It is impossible to overestimate the role of the humble shipping container in the making of today’s world. From the food on our plates to the shape of our cities, the worldwide adoption of the standardised intermodal container during the second half of the twentieth century has revolutionised the way we live in profound ways.

    As a cornerstone of the post-WWII international trade boom, the container has changed the way we produce and the way we consume. It has facilitated an enormous increase in the volume and variety of goods available to us and it has precipitated shifts in economic geographies both locally and globally, which in turn have influenced where and how we live and work.

    Container: The box that changed the world is an exciting new temporary and travelling exhibition exploring the fascinating history, contemporary significance and future impact of this most ordinary of objects. Housed entirely within 20-foot (6-meter) shipping containers, the exhibition’s innovative approach draws upon new trends in “pop up” design and contemporary art exhibitions and installations, but instead forges a very real link between form and content, quite literally taking our visitors “inside the box” to explore the technical, economic, environmental, social and cultural impact of a revolutionary innovation inspired by the sea.


    Open daily, 9.30am–5pm, from late October 2017.

    Included in the Free Galleries Ticket.

    See our Admissions page for full price information and to book your tickets. Our Plan Your Visit page has everything you need to know about a trip to the museum.

    Become a Maritime Museum Member and receive FREE or discounted entry to all our events and exhibitions, as well as many other benefits.


    Receive our e-newsletters for the latest news including special offers, advance bookings, sneak previews and more.

    Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates and to join the conversation.

    Major Sponsor

    NSW Ports logo


    Maritime Container Services logo    ACFS Port Logistucs


    NSW Government Transport for NSW logo

add a comment