Clifford J. Rodgers: The World’s First Purpose Built Container Ship

The Clifford J. Rodgers cargo ship bears a unique recognition in maritime history as the world’s first purpose built container ship. The container vessel plied between important maritime routes in the Northern parts of the North American continent.

The maritime route of Clifford J. Rodgers was of utmost significance in the American and Canadian history and its origin dates back to the ‘Gold Rush’ time-period of the late 1800s. In order to facilitate the huge crowd of people pouring into the provinces, a rail network was established during the ‘Gold Rush’ period by the White Pass and Yukon Route Corporation.

Over the course of time, in a bid to ease the cargo transportation operations, the company commissioned the construction of the purpose built container ship during the mid-1900s. Following the construction of the Clifford J. Rodgers container ship, this rail network became an integral aspect connecting the marine-road-rail cargo operational network between the Alaskan province of Skagway and the Yukon district in Canada.

First Purpose Built Container Ship in the World: Features and Highlights

The Clifford J. Rodgers container ship was first put into operation in the year 1955 and its inaugural operation involved the ferrying of around 600 cargo containers from British Columbia to Skagway. The World’s first purpose built container ship measured slightly over 102 meters lengthwise with a breadth of over 14 meters, and a height of over 7 meters, with GRT of around 4,000 tonnes.

The cargo carried by the Clifford J. Rodgers container vessel in its maiden journey was carefully pre-decided so as to avoid any possibilities of damages in case the containers didn’t function as structurally intended structurally unique, the container ship is said to have built at a budget of slightly under US$ 10 million.

Container Shipping

The methodology employed by the first container ship in the world is popularly called as the ‘Intermodal’ methodology of transiting cargo. ‘Intermodal’ cargo transporting involves the utilization of various transport channels to successfully ship the necessary cargo from one location to another. In this regard, the White Pass and Yukon Route Corporation and the Clifford J. Rodgers vessel are often credited with the aspect of initiation of the usage of the ‘Intermodal’ transportation method to successfully ferry the cargo to wherever required.

The Clifford J. Rodgers container ship was utilized extensively for around a decade till the corporation acquired a comparatively, structurally advanced vessel to carry out its maritime operations. The Clifford J. Rodgers container ship was thereafter sold to a Greek shipping company which operated it under the name of Drosia, till the vessel’s unexpected loss in the Western Atlantic waters in the late 1900s.

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