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How Many Shipping Containers Does it Take to Make America Great?

author Published by Jeremy Beck

A friend sent me this video from The Wall Street Journal with a note: “The scale is staggering … gives one a sense of what having a population of 330 million consumers implies.”

The often-mesmerizing video does bring to mind questions about domestic production, trade policy, and personal consumption (is all of my stuff really worth the effort?). The staffing shortages beg questions about wages and working conditions. Ryan Johnson, a 20-year veteran truck driver, says the shipping and carrier companies stand to profit from the backlog as long as they can keep wages low.

“How do you convince truckers to work,” Johnson asks, “when their pay isn’t guaranteed, even to the point where they lose money?”

As for my friend’s observation, another question comes to mind:

How big do we want to be?

JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Sustainability Initiative for NumbersUSA

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