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September 11th, 2008:

Container Trackers

The world has already been exposed to train-, plane- and bus-spotters.  Now the BBC is about to unlease a new phenomenon on an unsuspecting world, Container-Trackers.  The BBC has created a branded and GPS enabled shipping container [^], and they will be posting updates on it’s whereabouts on their website.

BBC GPS-enbaled Container

BBC GPS-enabled Container

The current location of the container [^] can be found on a dedicated page of the BBC Website.

This project is part of a program being developed by the broadcaster to highlight how the global economy works.  As part of this the BBC will be filming stories at key points along the container’s journey.  These stories will be about the goods that are produced in the area the container picks up, and who is consuming those goods.  The whole project is known as “The Box”, and was partly inspired by the book of the same name by Mark Levinson.  That book tells the story of how the shipping container has revolutionised international trade over the past 50 years.

Luckily it seems that since the container is on active duty it will be pretty much paying it’s own way around the world.  The BBC is expecting to only be out of pocket for the cost of the stories that it films in the ports of call – unless the box get washed overboard!  This looks to be one of the best reality TV programs produced this year.