Enormous gantry cranes, 127 meters long, tower over the wharf at the Port of Yokohama. From the operator's cabins perched 50 meters above ground, crane jockeys, the rock stars of the port, orchestrate the critical work of loading and unloading vessels. Shigeru Kamiakutsu can shift around 50 containers per hour, 50% faster than the global average. But Kamiakutsu himself doesn't aim for a certain number of containers per hour. "Working as a crane jockey", he says, "is not a track meet". For him, handling the containers gently is paramount. Many of his fellow port workers are onboard the container ships during loading. They say the sound of a 40 ton container being set down roughly is like cars colliding head-on. And they can't help but flinch when each huge steel box, as it is lowered toward the deck, blots out the sun and plunges them into darkness. They are handling hundreds of containers a day like this at ultra-close range. Kamiakutsu tries to minimize their stress by setting containers down gently. He pauses just 20cm above the stack, then slowly lowers the container the rest of the way.
The LaFontanne Chemical Company is shipping out a load of we're not sure what, disguised as something entirely different. Mr. Pereaux and Mr. Grock don't want that shipment to ever arrive anywhere, and they and a man named Aquirre mean to stop it at any cost. The ship's owner, Mr. Fontanne, smells a large rat and calls Chan in on the case, since the famous detective is in New Orleans because, well, because he felt like being in New Orleans, I guess. Chan gets what facts there are from LaFontanne, who is promply set upon by a gang who attempt to kidnap him, but fail.