Day 10: Shanghai: Yangshan Port Visit

Today was an interesting hybrid of a site visit and a professional visit. Mac Sullivan, a logistics analysis for TOLL from Boston, accompanied us on our 2 hour ride to the Yangshan Port Visit. He’s been working overseas as an ex-pat for 8 years and in Shanghai for 7 years. He described his job as a tour guide for products. He was a middle man between manufacturers and warehouses/retailers. He oversaw products on plane, truck, and rail and negotiated with different corporations to reach a good deal on shipments moving around the world. In other words, he had a job that I was very interested in- an ex-pat working in supply chain. The Yangshan Port is the largest port in the world, and it continues to grow everyday. Just two months ago a new part of the port was built but it is already in full use. It is on a remote island off of the mainland(we had to cross the second longest bridge in the world!) that used to be a small fishing village before it officially became Yangshan Deep Water Port. As soon as our bus got off the bridge and on land, there were what seemed like an infinite number of containers stacked up precariously high. The main part of the port seemed incredibly busy(I understood why we weren’t allowed to go down there and instead had to overlook all of the port on a viewing hill), there were container trucks running everywhere, cranes were moving, and ships were coming in and out. Apparently one container ship can hold up to 15,000 containers… There was a stark contrast between the nature side and the busy, industrial port of the remote village. We only stayed at the port for 40 minutes although it was 4 hour ride round trip but I was still extremely glad we went. Mac Sullivan’s lecture about his supply chain logistics occupation was something I was really interested in. He explained something called supply chain analytics- you basically analyze why there are fluctuations in supply chain costs and what dictates these fluctuations and then utilize this data to efficiently move a product from point A to point B. The port visit itself was very interesting because I’ve always seen the container trucks and container trains in my daily life and always wondered where they end up. My father works in supply chain so he used to point on certain container companies- many of which I recognized at the port.

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Bridge to the port

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