Almost time to say “Sea you later China!”

Today was our last full day in Shanghai and China, and I wasn’t ready to leave so soon. Today we set off to visit the Port of Shanghai which is the largest port in the world by amount of containers processed by the port. On our way there, we had a Pitt alum who had been living in China for the past couple of years talk to us about what it was like living and working in China. I was surprised to learn how the work environment was somewhat similar to the US with a couple of differences. It took us awhile to get there and we had to travel over the worlds largest sea-bridge which is over 20 miles long and took us over half an hour to cross. Once we arrived, we hiked up to the top of a hill to get a good view of the port. The port itself is expansive and breathtaking. It takes up the entire side of the island with cranes, ships, and containers stretching as far as the eye can see. The port is the busiest in the world with over 40 million containers traveling through the port in the past year. As we looked around the port, there was so much going on with containers being removed from the ships, containers being stacked, trucks lining up to receive cargo, and cargo leaving the port via trucks. The entire process was so crazy, we wondered how they even knew where and what was in every container. We would soon find out as we traveled to a logistics company that operated out of the Shanghai Port.

The hilly terrain that overlooks the port

We next traveled back over the sea bridge and back to the main land to visit Lingang, a major logistics company. We learned that Lingang even had their own port with numerous docks that handled a range of products and ships. We went inside to have a lecture and Q&A from some of the employees from the company. It was interesting to find out that Lingang was completely run by the government and was controlled and received funding from them. This is interesting since, as they told us, any technological advancements or changes within the company had to be approved by the government so even if there is a new technology to move containers quicker, if the government doesn’t approve of it then it can’t be implemented. The company is also located in a free trade show, allowing goods to be handled and transferred without going through customs. The location of the company is also beneficial since it is located around half an hour away from the airport, allowing trucks to transfer goods to be shipped with ease. After our lecture we got to visit one of the docks and saw a car ship unloading more than 2,400 cars to be stored before being shipped throughout China. Overall it was truly amazing to see how much goes on in these ports and how goods are transported across the world.

A view of the docks and the Car Ship
An important discussion about the Port

After we returned from the port, we had a large section of free time where we could do whatever and explore Shanghai. We spent a section of that time practicing our slides for the presentations the next day. After our practicing, we decided to explore Shanghai one more time before we had to leave the next day. We explored around our hotel and found a bunch of cool shops and stores, before finally settling on a burger place for dinner, because when in China am I right? The burgers were so good after not having one for over two weeks and coupled with some wings made a great meal. I’ve had such a great time in China and while I do miss home, I don’t want to leave. I am hoping to return soon and possibly even study again in China.

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