Accepted paper:

Moving containers at Europe's End

Author:

Hege Leivestad (Stockholm University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper picks apart the concept of "logistics" by examining its co-existing notions of dystopia and utopia. The presentation draws upon fieldwork among logistics companies, port workers and local residents in and around the Port of Algeciras Bay, Europe's fourth busiest container port.

Paper long abstract:

Through intricate systems of logistics and a cost-efficient "just-in-time" logic, commodities travel the world along maritime routes and port infrastructures. A growing body of literature in the social sciences has (re)turned to maritime space, engaging with the "dark side" of globalisation, and the unequal power relations coming as a result of the logistics revolution (Bonacich and Wilson 2008; Gregson 2017). In this paper I turn to a European container port, where the global mobility of commodities intersect with local visions of economic and social futures. The paper picks apart the concept of "logistics" by examining its co-existing notions of dystopia and utopia. Doing so the presentation draws upon ongoing fieldwork among logistics companies, port workers and local residents in and around the Port of Algeciras Bay, Europe's fourth busiest container port. Algeciras is a so-called transshipment hub with a strategic location at the strait of Gibraltar, in an area otherwise characterized by Spain's highest unemployment rates and parallel shadow economies. Freight is a contested future, I argue, in a port where commodities are unloaded, temporarily stored, cleared and loaded before being moved on.

panel P082
Moving the goods: maritime mobility and logistics labour [ANTHROMOB]