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Flat pack jeep in a crate
Home » Innovation » Long before IKEA, the US military was flat-packing Jeeps for shipping

Long before IKEA, the US military was flat-packing Jeeps for shipping

PortandTerminal.com, November 28, 2020

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Long before IKEA figured out how to break down and flat pack darn near anything for shipping, the US military was crating up Jeeps in a similar fashion.

During World War II the military needed a tough vehicle that could carry heavy loads, pull heavy objects and move quickly over rough ground. A small company in Pennsylvania, Bantam, invented the Jeep, but the military needed more than Bantam could produce. They turned to Willys and Ford and had these auto giants build the Jeeps they needed.

In total, 648,000 Ford GPW’s and Willys MB’s were built during World War II. In fact, 15 percent of all military vehicles produced were Jeeps. The Jeeps was used by every branch of the U.S military, with an average of 145 assigned to each infantry regiment.

All of those Jeeps were produced in America but were needed for the war effort thousands of miles away across various oceans. They had to be shipped by sea. To get them onto cargo ships for transport across the Atlantic and Pacific, they were broken down and crated for greater space efficiency.

Today there are companies that produce replicas of the old World War 2 Jeeps that you can purchase in a crate. The color photo that we use at the top of this article features one of those replicas.

Factory. Crating up a Jeeps. Workers. Packing material
Crates of jeeps on a ship. City skyline in background.

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