McLean was born in 1913 in McMaster, North Carolina, USA. When he graduated from high school in 1931, he was catching up with the Great Depression of the United States. By family relationship, he got a job in a grocery store to sort out the shelves. When he learned that he could make a lot of money by transporting oil to a nearby gas station, he borrowed $120 from his relatives and friends and bought a used car. In March 1934, he and his younger siblings formed a trucking company to be a driver. Soon, he bought a used dump truck with the money he earned and got a contract to transport the earthwork for public works. By 1935, although McLean was only 22 years old, he already owned two trucks and a tractor trailer and hired nine self-owned vehicles. By 1940, the economic recovery brought about by the US war has stimulated the development of the transportation industry. McLean has owned 30 trucks with an annual income of 230,000 US dollars. By the early 1950s, the company’s assets had exceeded $10 million. But McLean is not an accomplices. When he was operating, he found that trucks were often congested on highways. Why not use truck trailers to be transported directly by ship with the container?
In 1953, McLean proposed the idea of building a terminal freight station, allowing the truck to drive a specially designed ship along the ramp and unload the trailer. The ship can carry the trailer to a port such as New York. After the ship arrives at the port, the trailer is picked up by other truck heads. In this way, “sea and land transport” can be realized. This idea was supported by the New York Port Authority. But at the time, American law imposed strict controls on road and rail transportation, restricting road freight companies from owning their own fleet. And offshore shipping is seen as a dying industry. To this end, McLean sold the shares of the freight company for $14 million and set up a new company, borrowing $42 million from the bank to acquire Waterman Steamship, and its subsidiary Transatlantic Steamship Company.
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Link to this article：Do You Know the History of Container Transportation？IV
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