Maritime logistics experts spend years studying the optimal way to pack thousands of steel containers onto quarter-mile-long containerships. Now, the French transportation and shipping company CMA CGM Group may have found a new source of expert labor for the job—pre-school aged children.
Marseilles-based CMA CGM has teamed up with the French wooden toy manufacturer Vilac to produce a wooden educational toy they call "My first container ship."
Designed to teach children aged three and above how to stack shapes, the kit includes a toy ship with a solid wooden hull emblazoned with the shipping line's six-letter logo. Kids can load about 30 red, blue, and yellow container blocks onto wooden pegs on the deck of the 18-inch-long Jules Verne, painted to match the familiar navy blue bulwarks and red hulls of CMA CGM's 470 other oceangoing cargo vessels.
Parents who want to raise a little shipping magnate can buy the toy in more than 12 countries, including France, the U.S., Italy, the U.K., and Indonesia by ordering through Vilac distributors' shops or e-commerce websites like Amazon.com.
Regulators have not yet announced whether they will allow the 14-ounce (fully loaded) ships to traverse the Panama Canal.