Ever since an unknown US trucker came up with a new way to transform global trade, the cornerstone of Malcolm McLean’s “big idea” — the shipping container — has barely changed.

From the 58 containers loaded onto McLean’s converted tanker — the SS Ideal-X in 1956 — to the 20,000-plus on the largest modern ships, the design has barely altered from the classic metal box.

Nearly 70 years later, a new wave of innovators who followed the containerisation pioneer believe the industry is ready to embrace a raft of new improvements.