Several chapters in this volume – particularly those by McCalla, Rodrigue and Slack (Chapters 7, 4 and 2) – explore current containerisation issues and trends largely in the context of western economic development. In the late twentieth century, however, political shifts thrust other types of economy into the global trade system that is so dependent on containerisation as a transport mode. In part this reflected the collapse of socialism, especially in the Central and East European contexts. But it was also a consequence of decisions within the surviving communist world. Given this trend, an over-narrow focus on western trade systems carries with it the danger of neglecting these important developments elsewhere in the global economy. This chapter, therefore, aims to counteract that neglect.