Visitors to wildlife sanctuaries or nature preserves can take along a handy bird book or wildflower guide for help identifying the local flora and fauna. But what if your interests run more to infrastructure and logistics? Where do you turn for help identifying the colorful shipping containers you see stacked up on ships, in intermodal yards, and on the docks?
The answer is The Container Guide, a 140-page pocket-sized waterproof field guide to shipping containers and the corporations that own them. Authors Tim Hwang and Craig Cannon published the bright orange guidebook in 2015 after raising more than $20,000 on on the online crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
"The Container Guide, drawing inspiration from classic Audubon birding guides, is a practical field guide to identifying containers and the corporations that own them," the authors wrote in their Kickstarter pitch. "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 [its] revenue, trade routes, and habits."
Can't wait to get started? You can order the book on Amazon.com.
Editor's note: The book is not the first guide to logistics hardware—in 2016, DC Velocity published "A field guide to racks" for warehouse aficionados who want a quick and dirty primer on common types of pallet racks.