When you order something online, you expect it to show up at your door within a matter of days, sometimes even hours. Have you ever wondered how this elaborate system of shipping was developed or how people got their goods in the days of yore? It wasn’t always as easy as clicking a button.
In the early days of the United States, the Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers were the superhighways. Initially flat boats were sent down the river loaded with cargo and then dismantled when they reached their destination. Later, steam boats were able to make return trips, further opening up trade. The first cargo ship sailed in 1956, modernizing shipping into the system we use today. America’s railroads are some of the most sophisticated in the world. Cargo containers are also quite versatile, transporting goods via ship, train, or truck in the same container.
Learn more about the history of shipping from this infographic.