Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The Container Guide's video poster
Play

A pocket-sized, waterproof field guide to shipping containers and the corporations that own them. Read more

667
backers
$21,503
pledged of $11,500 goal
0
seconds to go

Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 11, 2014.

A pocket-sized, waterproof field guide to shipping containers and the corporations that own them.

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. 

Craig Cannon is a co-founder of Cultivated Wit where he started Comedy Hack Day. He was formerly Graphics Editor at The Onion. He’ll be handling design and GoPro returns for The Container Guide.

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

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    69 backers

    STEVEDORE LEVEL -- Digital download of The Container Guide.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    343 backers

    ABLE SEAMAN LEVEL -- Physical copy of The Container Guide; digital download of the book.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    152 backers

    BOATSWAIN LEVEL -- Physical copy of The Container Guide; digital download of the book; limited edition, members-only American Container Society sticker pack.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    39 backers

    FIRST MATE LEVEL -- Physical copy of The Container Guide; digital download of the book; American Container Society sticker pack; tickets to our launch party in San Francisco.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    32 backers

    CAPTAIN LEVEL -- Two physical copies of The Container Guide; digital download of the book; American Container Society sticker pack.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    23 backers

    COMMODORE LEVEL -- Physical copy of The Container Guide; digital download of the book; American Container Society sticker pack; tickets to our launch party in San Francisco; and a special container-sighting tour. To attend the tour, you have to get yourself to San Francisco and find a place to stay.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    TYCOON LEVEL -- We will ship you one (1) standard used shipping container, and one (1) copy of the book. Pledger must be within the continental United States, and will cover all expenses beyond shipping - crane rental, installation, etc.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)