Outdoor exhibition to showcase how shipping containers changed the world

Published: 30 Jan 2019 9:28am

It’s dubbed “the box that changed the world” – and soon visitors to Museum of the Riverina’s latest exhibition will get the chance to discover how the humble shipping container revolutionised the way we live.

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s outdoor travelling exhibition will open at Wagga Wagga’s Visitor Information Centre precinct in Tarcutta Street on 6 February 2019 and give a unique insight into one of the 20th Century’s most important innovations.

Visitors to the area will notice changes outside the centre after the six shipping containers arrived in the city on the back of three semi-trailers last week.

The six brightly coloured containers were placed by crane onto the exhibition site before the Australia Day long weekend and this week preparations are underway to have the containers ready for opening to the public.

“The history of the shipping container is an amazing story,” Museum of the Riverina Manager Luke Grealy said.

“The effect this rectangular steel box has had on people’s lives around the globe is extraordinary and this is a fantastic chance to discover the many secrets of world trade, shipping and transport.

“Each of the six exhibition boxes is a chance to learn more about the role shipping containers have played in everyday life.”

This unique exhibition is free to the public and will be on display until 5 May, 2019. The Visitor Information Centre is located in Tarcutta Street, across the road from the Civic Centre and the Museum of the Riverina.

There will be an official opening for invited guests at the exhibition site on 6 February 2019. A business-to-business event focusing on trade and exports will be hosted by Council on 1 May to coincide with the display.

About the exhibition and the six containers

Ship: Learn the history of transporting goods in crates, bales, sacks and barrels loaded by hand, and how the container now allows the world’s 1.5 million seafarers to deliver 10 billion tonnes of trade each year.

Cargo: Discover the intricate world of trade, customs, and biosecurity, and how perishable goods are transported around the world in the ‘cold’ chain.

Port: See the radical transformation of ports and port cities in Australia and around the world. Have a peek behind the scenes at Port Botany, one of Australia’s busiest ports and the gateway for 99 per cent of NSW’s container demand.

Ocean: Explore the challenges mass shipping poses to our oceans, including lost shipping containers, cargo spills and acoustic pollution, and the current focus on sustainable shipping.

Build: Be delighted by the quirky and innovative ways containers are used beyond shipping, including ”small homes”, food trucks, art installations and even swimming pools.

Things: Enter a glass-fronted container demonstrating the origins of everyday objects in our homes. The total number of kilometres travelled by sea by all the products in this container is 887,082km.