After being so tired from all the walking we had done the night before, I had a very good night’s sleep and woke up refreshed and ready for the visits we had today. I got into my business casual and headed downstairs for another delicious breakfast at the hotel. Shanghai literally means “above the sea” so naturally the city is in a fantastic spot for transporting goods all around the world. In fact, today we are going to see one of the biggest ports in the entire world; the Yangshan Port. Before the port visit, we would be seeing Ocean East International Logistics.
Our group met in the hotel lobby and made our way to our bus as per usual, but this time a man shook my hand and introduced himself before we got on the bus. He said his name is Mac Sullivan and he would be joining us for today. When we got on the bus he spoke to us a little more and said that he is from the United States and moved to China years ago and works at a logistics company, similar to the Ocean East International Logistics company we would we seeing this morning.
Mac had a really interesting story and is clearly very passionate about his job in supply chain and logistics! When we walked inside the company doors we saw on the front desk a stack of bright yellow vests that we would get to wear when we saw the warehouse. First, we went upstairs to listen to an employee talk about the company. We learned that Ocean East International Logistics helps the development of the Lingang Shipping Service Center Area, and has some pretty advanced equipment (that we would soon get to see) in their warehouses.
Once we finished asking questions, we moved back downstairs and suited up in the bright yellow vests so we could walk into the warehouse. Once inside, we saw shelves full of different sized boxes all over. We also saw forklifts that were driving around to different parts picking up and moving groups of boxes. The interesting part was that the forklifts were self-operated, so there were no drivers in any of them! In Pittsburgh, Uber has been testing their self-driving cars which have a spinning sensor on the top of them and the forklifts here seemed to have the same thing on top of them. I thought seeing the self-operated forklifts was really cool, but the engineers on the trip were way more excited about them than most of the business students were.
Once we finished in the warehouse, we got back on the bus and drove across an incredibly long bridge to get to the Yangshan Port. It seemed like the bridge would never end, but when it finally did we got to see the port and let me tell you, this port is massive. I’ve never seen so many crates before, and it seemed to go on and on for miles. I was impressed by how much cargo moves through this port every day, and by how quickly they transport exports onto the cargo ships.
After the port visit we went for lunch. This meal was delicious, like always, but it was especially good because they had spring rolls! I haven’t seen any spring rolls here yet and that’s always a go-to for me when I get Chinese food at home so I was very excited to see them brought out at the restaurant.
We got back to the hotel and continued working on our final projects. Afterwards we went out and explored Shanghai more! We still have a few more days here, but I can confidently say that Shanghai is my favorite city that we’ve seen.