The Economist, May 18th 2013
THE humble shipping container is a powerful antidote to economic pessimism and fears of slowing innovation. Although only a simple metal box, it has transformed global trade. In fact, new research suggests that the container has been more of a driver of globalisation than all trade agreements in the past 50 years taken together.
This is similar to how the myth of a very successful and essential Marshall Plan distorted perceptions towards the assumption that economies can be kickstarted with foreign aid (it wasn't that important). The belief in free trade is almost religious in some people (and especially so if their pay check depends on it).
An article about the importance of containerisation for maritime trade also reminds me of the containerisation issues of the military.
I won't write about this before I've done some more research, though. I haven't seen from the inside in a while how things are done. Most Western military forces seem to under-appreciate articulated lorry logistics and fuel tank pallets/containers, though. Civilian long-range truck logistics are being dominated by articulated lorries, but they have traditionally only niches in army logistics (mostly as tank transporters and heavy fuel trucks). I feel the armed bureaucracies are missing out on something here.
It's always nice to figure out some ideal military truck logistics solution, but the bulk of the supplies would need to be hauled by civilian trucks if our alliances really need to defend themselves some day. A fleet mix between milspec and civilian trucks would be used. Compatibility (moving cargo from a civilian truck to a milspec truck for the final 200 km between corps logistics hub and consuming units) would be of major concern.