View of Lawley Street Goods Depot showing the overhead electric travelling crane and the use of containers to facilitate more a flexible method of transporting goods on 10th July 1967. Container traffic had started to be implemented during the early part of the 20th century offering considerable advantages when it came to transferring goods from rail to road and visa versa. It was not unusual for goods to occupy wagons for several days at either end of the journey so the ability to speedily transfer loads meant that the railways could increase the level of service whilst decreasing significantly the capital costs tied up in wagons.
The use of travelling cranes in yards as seen above also started to be introduced at the beginning of the twentieth century no doubt linked if not the reason for the rise of container traffic. However, container traffic still could not compete with the expansion of road traffic which offered point to point transfer and today this type of traffic is now seen only with export and imports with larger containers being handled by ports and specialist inland 'freightliner' terminals.