Hege Leivestad: "Piling Up: Cargo Paperwork in a Global Port"

In this essay published in Roadsides, Hege Leivestad explores the piling up of cargo and paperwork in a global port. 

Piling up at the waterfront. Photo: Hege Høyer Leivestad. Port of Algeciras Bay, 2019. 


Although scholars are increasingly looking at data infrastructures and software solutions in order to make sense of supply chains, a parallel material world of papers also performs logistics. ‘Piling up’, as the title of this essay suggests, refers to the interrelated material circulation and accumulation of cargo and papers.

From the transshipment port of Algeciras in southern Spain, Hege Leivestad reflects upon how logistics mediation is achieved through the logistics document: a material technology often regarded as antiquated but which continues to define labour hierarchies, mediate port temporalities and connect logistics actors through acts of authorization and confirmation.

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Published June 2, 2022 10:21 AM - Last modified June 2, 2022 10:21 AM