About this project
ABOUT THE CONTAINER GUIDE
Almost everything you own or consume has at some point traveled in a shipping container. As of 2009, 90% of the world’s non-bulk cargo is moved in containers stacked on transport ships. The top 100 shipping companies together manage more than 17,000,000 containers worldwide. These massive, globe-spanning businesses and corporate alliances shape economies yet they’re rarely discussed in popular media.
The Container Guide, drawing inspiration from classic Audubon birding guides, is a practical field guide to identifying containers and the corporations that own them. Inside you’ll find virtually every major shipping concern brought to life in full-color on durable, tear- and water-resistant paper. The included photographs, logos, and container colors will help you quickly identify the corporation behind almost any container you spot in the wild. Each company’s corresponding entry provides rich historical background and data on their revenue, trade routes, and habits.
The Container Guide features informative essays about the impact and finer points of the container spotting hobby:
Accompanying cargo sighting tips, global trade maps, and informative diagrams will make this the most comprehensive field guide to shipping container companies commercially available. The guide is a perfect gift for the experienced shipping container spotter, the budding infrastructure enthusiast, and the casual reader.
WHY DO YOU NEED THE MONEY?
We envision The Container Guide as a rugged dock companion that will last a lifetime. To ensure top-level quality, we’ve found a printer that will produce this book on synthetic, waterproof paper. True to classic references, the book will be perfectly sized to fit easily into a jacket or pants pocket for infrastructure sighting on the go.
We’ll only be able to produce this guide in an affordable way if we can order a sufficient number of copies from our printer. To that end, we’re gathering pre-orders through Kickstarter before we go to press.
WHO ARE YOU GUYS?
The Container Guide is a production of Craig Cannon and Tim Hwang.
Tim Hwang is the founder and director of the Bay Area Infrastructure Observatory (BAIO), a citizen alliance devoted to exploring and celebrating the large-scale built systems that make modern life possible. He is the executive research editor for The Container Guide. In his other life, he is also the co-founder of the Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, a global alliance of giving circles dedicated to supporting the interests of awesomeness through $1,000 microgrants. He lives in San Francisco.
Risks and challenges
There are two possible challenges with this project. First, assembling and writing the content for the book may potentially take longer than expected. To deal with this, we are scoping the project to be completable within a nine-month time period. Rather than attempting to cover any and all shipping corporations worldwide, we’re limiting our scope to only the largest and most interesting entities that you’re likely to see walking around ports in North America. We’re also doing our homework in advance: at the time of this Kickstarter, we already have half of the data collected on the shipping companies the guide will contain. We also plan to keep all backers closely in the loop as production for the project comes together.
The second major challenge comes from the printing process and the unique materials that we are using to print the book. It is possible that the printer may have difficulty producing the job or that acquiring the materials takes more time than expected. We are lowering this risk by partnering with an experienced printer who routinely works with these types of materials. We have locked the pricing of these materials in and budgeted conservatively, lowering the chance that costs will outrun the amount that we are seeking here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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