They carry 90 % of everything we buy. They crisscross the oceans 365 days a year, taller than a fifteen-story building, longer than three soccer fields. And yet, they pass under the radar. Container ships are the hidden face of globalization, its essential but forgotten cogs. Mentioned on no map, catalog, or advertisement, they are the invisible giants at the service of the world economy.
How do they operate? Who runs them? How do they fill the shelves of our supermarkets? And how come we so largely ignore everything about them?
Our documentary film aims to tell the journey of a container travelling from China to Europe on a shipping lane known as the backbone of world trade: the "FAL" (French-Asia Line), which links Shanghai to Rotterdam.
This journey on the high seas will serve as our thread for a story that questions the strengths and weaknesses of global commerce, and explores the means to improve the human, technological and environmental impact of maritime transport.
Direction: Alfred de Montesquiou & Nicolas Vescovaci
Production: Tony Comiti & Dreamtime for France Télévisions
Delivery: December 2023