Today, we had a company visit planned as well as a visit to Yang Shan Port. When we got on the bus, we were surprised to be greeted by a man named Mac Sullivan. Partially because he wasn’t our previous tour guide, Alex, and partially because he was white and English speaking. Mac is working towards getting his Ph.D. and is the Greater China Trade Lane Manager for Toll Global Forwarding. Mac deals a lot with logistics, and Toll Global Forwarding is a provider of international freight forwarding and supply chain management. Mac gave us all papers with information about freight forwarding and a bunch of key business terms/lingo. On the way to the Ocean East International Logistics visit, he gave us a mini lesson on logistics which was pretty useful to me as an engineer who doesn’t know anything about logistics.
Once we arrived at Ocean East International Logistics, we were taken to a conference room, and a man named Lin Sen who was a general manager at the company gave us a presentation. He talked a lot about warehousing and distribution. In his presentation, he explained how they want to optimize warehousing, and the company has to evaluate client inventory against supply effectiveness. Basically, inventory is a type of waste, but it is a necessity for supply to market. Everything was all very business oriented, and it seemed like it involved a lot of strategizing. The presenter also explained how automation has been changing the entire industry. Automation is definitely something that Ocean East International Logistics is looking into. They also have a five-year plan and are taking on a platform business model. After the presentation, they showed us a warehouse where they implement automated vehicles called AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicle) to sort boxes. The engineers and I were very impressed and excited to see engineering after all of the business talk.
After the presentation, we got back on the bus and headed to Yangshan Port as Mac went over some more terms on our papers. Yangshan Port is the largest port in the world! And it is China’s largest automated container port. As we drove by the port, there were so many different colored containers. You could see containers for miles, and the automated container sorters towered above the high stacks. We stopped at a lookout area where we could see most of the containers, and we took a bunch of pictures. It’s one thing to see a large port, but it’s so much cooler to say that I saw the largest port in the world. All of the colors and the nice view of the bay made the sight actually kind of beautiful.
When we got back to the hotel, we had some free time to ourselves, and we had a blog party before dinner. We decided to go and get noodles for dinner at a place some people had been to before. The noodles were really good, and afterwards a group of us ventured to the mall just to explore a little. I wanted to show some people this clothing store I saw earlier called “Sandwich”, and some other people got bubble tea. After all of the mall explorations, we convened a larger group to explore the city some more before calling it a night.