At 7:45 a.m. we hopped on the bus and drove two hours to Ocean East International Logistics. This company would have been an industrial engineers dream. They are involved with the planning that goes into how all sorts of goods are transported around the world. There were so many variables that they have to consider. I don’t know how anything gets from point A to point B without getting lost. After the presentation, we went back down to the lobby and had to put on those neon yellow vests that you see construction workers wear. We had to put these on in order to visit one of the wear houses. The wear house we went to was actually pretty interesting because instead of their being workers commanding the fork lifts, the lifts were able to operate on their own. They were similar to autonomous vehicles because like the driverless Uber cars, they have that sensor that spins around on the top of the lift. In a way it was kind of creepy watching these things work without any human assistance. There were maybe like four workers there supervising these machines, but for the most part the machines were left alone.
Once we returned our vests to the lobby, we got on the bus and drove about a half hour to the biggest port in the world. To get to the port itself, we had to drive across the third largest bridge in the world. This bridge was only built to reach the port, which is insane. We were on that bridge for almost the full half hour that it took to get to the port. For this company visit, we had a new tour guide, Mac, who actually worked at a different logistics company than the one we just visited. As soon as we got to the island where the port is located, he pointed out that the first part of the port that we could see out our window was only built within the last year. This new portion of the port was completely autonomous. It honestly looked like a small city with all of the giant cranes and rows upon rows of stacked crates. Keep in mind, this wasn’t even the main part of the port. The island we were on was once a fishing village not too long ago. It almost looked like it should have been home to some kind of vacation resort because it was so scenic. At the overlook we drove to, you could see the entire main port. There were ships docked and many different trucks driving among the crates. I can’t imagine just how many crates there were. Probably hundreds of thousands, maybe even close to a million. Once we returned to the hotel that night, a few of us went in search of non-Chinese food. After eating almost entirely Chinese food for the past two weeks, I was craving something different. So, after getting lost for almost half an hour, we reached one of the malls that was nearby the hotel and had Italian food. It was so nice to know exactly what I was putting into my mouth and the menu had lots of pictures, so ordering was very simple. It was a nice change.