Compressing Time and Constraining Space: The Contradictory Effects of ICT and Containerization on International Shipping Labour 1
The twentieth century has been a period of rapid change in terms of production and consumption, work, and employment. Much of this change has been driven by developments in technology or the application of new technologies to existing production systems and ways of ordering and organizing work. In characterizing such change, Schumpeter popularized the term innovation. In viewing innovation as the main engine of economic growth, Schumpeter was interested in the idea of the entrepreneur as innovator, not simply in terms of an agent for the introduction of new inventions but more broadly as an organizational innovator introducing new systems of work, new products, and new forms of production.
1 We are very grateful to the staff of the Tetra terminal in Rotterdam for their time and help and for allowing us to gain an insight into the operation of a deep-sea container terminal. We are also grateful to all the seafarers that took part in the research informing this paper over a three-year period. We would like to thank the staff of the anonymous short-sea terminal who allowed us to visit and observe their operations as part of the background research to the study. In terms of the writing of the paper we have appreciated the comments and encouragement of Huw Beynon, Aad Blok, and Greg Downey, and the inimitable critique of Tony Lane. We would like to thank the ESRC and SIRC for funding the research we have drawn on in producing this paper. Final thanks are due to Phil Belcher, Mick Bloor, and Erol Kahveci for their contributions to data collection. See also Erol Kahveci, Tony Lane, and Helen Sampson, Transnational
Communities (Cardiff, 2002)