The taxi drives me through an Antwerp Sunday. Twisting through the Dutch looking streets and markets of the old town, through the Jewish orthodox quarters, the banal European suburbs and out onto the Euro-motorways. We glide across the flat polders and fields until finally, against a grey horizon, the silhouettes of the container-dock cranes appear. Each framework has four girder-legs, a long gantry body and a pylon-neck stretched high in the air. As we get nearer they grow larger and larger.
I get in the back of a minibus and it drives me through the rows and columns of containers. A mathematical construction built from stacks of cuboids – all exactly identical except for their colour and logos. Driving through the legs of the idle cranes the minibus pulls up alongside the Joni Ritscher. 175 metres long, the ship is almost fully loaded with its stacks of containers. One crane is still lifting the last few boxes through the air. I walk up the gangway and the minibus drives away.