Day 10: Shipping Hubs of the World

Following a great night of Mexican food and other festivities, we had breakfast and a 7:30 am departure. After an hour and a half bus ride which included 30 miles on a bridge, we made it to the Yang Shan Port.

This visit included walking around on a mountain right above the second largest shipping port in the Eastern Hemisphere. Incredibly, this port only took 6 months to build. I was most impressed with the sheer size of the port and how many crates they really have. There are a ton of cranes and they actually stack the massive crates pretty high. This port’s biggest import is from the United States in the form of soybeans. With all the tariff war going on between China and the United States, I heard people explaining that the tariffs imposed would not affect the goods sent out on the previous Friday. At the time, I was curious why people cared so much about this. It is because of how many ships and crates are sent out each day. It takes 3 weeks for the goods to travel between America and China. So, since this tariff was imposed a day after a large shipment, millions of goods will not be taxed. When talking about the difference between what the former tariff was (10%) to the new tariff (25%) this is actually a pretty big deal.

Following the Yang Shan Port visit, we traveled to the city of Lingang. This town accommodates the headquarters of a state-funded company called Lingang logistics. They specialize in investment and development of ancillary goods and services. Basically, they are a service company that transport goods overseas for major companies like BMW, Costco, and Disney. They also ship goods like wind-powered blades, metal, and engineering vehicles. After the brief presentation, I imposed the question about whether they encounter severe competition from other companies since they are government run. Their biggest competitor is ironically Yang Shan but since that port is also run by the state, they are not true competitors. Yang Shan is a huge company that exports pretty much every type of good in the world, while Lingang only ships a fraction of these goods. So, in general, Lingang’s business does not really suffer from competition. So, because they face such little competition, my next question had to do with how this company continues to innovate and avoids getting “lazy.” The government runs incentive programs where they will give tax benefits to employees when the company exhibits a good year.

Typically, the company ships goods continuously throughout the year but do run into issues in the summer months when typhoons hit.

After the presentation and Q&A, we ate lunch with some employees. This was one of the few meals where we actually were given a plate with foods on it for each person, instead of taking food from each dish in the middle. At the meal, we had shrimp, duck, and turtle, which is not something I get to say every day. Then to conclude our visit, we drove out about a mile on the river to one of their ship ports. We were greeted with a massive boat that is used to transport 2400 BMWs. Each shipment takes 2 days to travel from Hangzhou to Lingang. When the ship arrives, it takes 18 hours to unload the 2400 cars.

Sadly, tomorrow is our last day in China.

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