On Nov. 7, APL is scheduled to take delivery of the world's first 53-foot containers suitable for use in the oceangoing trades. The first units will be deployed on APL's weekly service between South China and Los Angeles. A pioneer of the use of 45-and 48-foot boxes in the trans-Pacific, APL said the latest innovation promises to make "a significant difference" in the trades. The line hopes to shift the economies of larger containers farther up the supply chain, to the point where products are manufactured in Asia. Up to now, 53-footers haven't been strong enough to endure the rigors of ocean transport. The new, reinforced units have been built specifically for that sector, and are designed to withstand ocean voyages. The bigger boxes have 60 percent more capacity than standard 40-footers. They are nine feet, six inches high and 102 inches wide--six inches wider than standard boxes. APL said it has concluded successful pilot tests of the 53-foot ocean containers with key U.S. retailers.
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