We had a bright and early day ahead of us. Immediately after breakfast, our group was greeted by a man by the name of Mac Sullivan, who is a trade lane manager at Toll Global Forwarding. He manages and arranges air, sea, warehousing, and road transportation for Fortune 500 companies between China, the United States, and Germany. On the bus to our first company visit of the day, he introduced himself and began talking in detail about supply chain, giving us great real-life examples to really help us understand exactly what he does.
After about an hour and a half drive, we finally made it to Ocean East International Logistics, where we were brought straight to a meeting room for a lecture from Sen Lin, the general manager. He discussed with us in detail the value of warehousing over the past few decades and how it has evolved from a manual, somewhat inefficient system to a more automated and digitalized database system. Using a more data-driven system has allowed Ocean East to be able to utilize its assets much more efficiently, and with the use of AGVs (automated guided vehicles) in their warehouses, they are able to streamline their process without increasing risk or depending on human labor! After this informative lecture, we put on safety vests and ventured out to one of their warehouses, where we got to see AGVs in action. It was absolutely astounding, yet scary to see these at work – they are a fantastic technological innovation, but with this innovation comes taking away many blue collar jobs.
Our next stop of the day was to the world’s largest deep water port; the Yangshan Port. Leading up to the port was a 30-kilometer-long bridge that took us about half an hour to get over. When we finally arrived on the island holding the port, Mac informed us that what we first saw was a brand new addition to the port recently finished. The new addition by itself is larger than the United States’ largest port in Los Angeles! As we finally reached the highest point of the port, we looked around and all we could see were large crates and cranes taking up almost every inch of space on this island. It was remarkable to be at such an important trading port, and I would have never imagined it needed its own island.
We got back to the hotel relatively early for the second straight day in a row, so this time around, some friends and I decided to check out another art zone. This time, we were off to Shanghai’s M50 Zone. Luckily, we got there when most of the exhibits were actually open, so we got to see many different art galleries. Some of them even doubled as studios for the artists! After going through multiple exhibits, we stumbled upon a really nice looking store. We walked inside, and immediately noticed all they sold were items of the Supreme brand. It wasn’t just a few items either; it appeared that this store had almost every single item that was released this past season. In American stores, Supreme is so popular and so high demand that it’s ridiculously difficult to find specific items anywhere, but here, they literally had everything from NBA/Supreme collaborations to the brand’s signature clothing articles!
After failing to hail a cab for about a half an hour in an attempt to go back, we decided to get some food at this Mediterranean place close to us. I was so glad to find this place; I LOVE Mediterranean food. I ordered a rice pilaf dish, and I was very satisfied with it. Once we were done eating, we decided to just find our way home using the subway lines, which we ended up having no trouble whatsoever doing.
This day was very informative and very fun, and I’m starting to realize we don’t have too much time left in China, so we really need to make the most of it.