Image for The Box That Changed BritainNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Poet Roger McGough narrates the extraordinary story of how a simple invention - the shipping container - changed the world forever and forced Britain into the modern era of globalisation.

With a blend of archive and modern-day filming, the incredible impact of the box is told through the eyes of dockers, seafarers, ship spotters, factory workers and logisticians. From quayside in huge container ports to onboard ships the size of four football pitches, the documentary explains how the shipping container has transformed our communities, economy and coastline.

Last on

Mon 5 Aug 2013 23:00 BBC Four

  • Photo: Maersk Salalah

    Photo: Maersk Salalah

    The Maersk Salalah container ship seen docking at the Port of Felixstowe. The ship can carry the equivalent of 8,750 containers-worth of cargo.

  • Photo: Port of Felixstowe

    Photo: Port of Felixstowe

    The container yard at the Port of Felixstowe, Britain's biggest container port.

  • Photo: Container ship

    Photo: Container ship

    An archive image of an early container ship.

  • Photo: Ship spotters

    Photo: Ship spotters

    Ship spotters enjoy a day out at the Port of Felixstowe.

  • Sea Fever

    Sea Fever

    This programme was part of Sea Fever – The Story Of Britain And The Sea, a major season on BBC Four that looked at the ways in which the sea helped to shape modern Britain. Sea Fever focused on maritime history, culture, economics and science and coincided with an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

    Go to the Sea Fever website


Roger McGough
Graeme McAulay
Graeme McAulay
Executive Producer
Dominic Crossley-Holland


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