The sight of carts, bikes and trucks piled to overflowing with precarious cargo loads is relatively common in China, even in modern Shanghai. Capturing footage these gravity-defying feats of packing can be a bit of a challenge as you often don’t see them until they are already passing. Several times I found myself standing open-mouthed on a Shanghai sidewalk while some outrageously towering cart rumbled by.
Among my favorites were the industrious local recyclers who often had a coworker ride atop the day’s haul of plastics and cardboard. Shanghai’s loads often weren’t as stupefying as those we saw in Vietnam, but they still brought me no small amount of amusement. Here are a few of the best I managed to photograph during my two years in the city. Let me know which ones you find the most astounding in the comments!