A nice article on container shipping by Stewart Taggart in 1999. Wired 7.10: The 20-Ton Packet
Instead of transportation being the metaphor for communications (the information superhighway, e.g.), here communication is the metaphor for transportation.
Another good source on container shipping is Marc Levinson's The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger , reviewed here.
The topic is summarized in The Transportation Experience in Chapter 16.