Today was the earliest day we had to wake up yet. I woke up at seven and barely managed to get ready on time. I grabbed a yogurt from the breakfast area of the hotel and on the bus we went. Joining us on the trip was a guest speaker, Sarah. She was a Pitt graduate who moved to China after graduating college and has lived here ever since. She talked a little bit about her experience then offered to answer any questions we had. Unlike previous Americans living in China that we spoke with, she focused primarily on her personal life and experiences. She talked about what it was like to be away from home for so long, working for Chinese companies as opposed to American ones, and how her relationships here in China different from her previous ones in the US. She said she had a Japanese friend who spoke no English; they communicated solely in Chinese, which was neither’s native language. She talked to us for over an hour of our two-hour ride to the shipping ports.
To get to the ports, we passed over the second longest bridge in the world, the Donghai Bridge. This bridge extends over twenty miles to reach the deep-water shipping ports, our destination. This is another piece of Chinese infrastructure that amazes me- it serves little purpose outside of vehicles that need to reach the ports. Actually, on second thought, this bridge likely is a key player in China’s exports and imports. Looking out from the bridge, I could see murky water that may have just been murky from the mud and sand but also could have been murky from pollution- I won’t be jumping in to find out! There were also wind turbines scattered throughout the water, which I thought was a very smart use of space and resources.
Our first stop when we arrived at the ports was a short trail to the top of a hill. This hill overlooked the Yangshan Port, one of the largest deep water shipping ports in Asia. This port was seriously massive. From our point of view there were shipping crates as far as the eye could see in both directions! This port became even more impressive when Dr Li informed us that construction of the port was finished in just six months. Its crazy to think that these crates are likely to be destined for the US. Who knows, maybe in a few weeks I’ll see one of the very same crates from this port on a truck or a train in the US.
After enjoying the views of the largest (and only) deep water port I had seen in my life, it was off to Lingang Modern Logistics for our final company visit in China. Their port was smaller than the one we had just been at, but still was very large and contained the same types of equipment. This company specializes in shipping goods that don’t go in containers, like cars for example. It went much how the other ones had, although I will say that the presenters were not well prepared for our questions. Sure, there’s a language barrier and some of our questions may have been too complicated, however I left feeling like almost none of our questions had been answered. After the Q and A, we boarded the bus again to watch them unload one of the ships. After that it was back to their headquarters for lunch, which included turtle in one of their dishes.
Today is the last time we will be falling asleep in China. Time really flies. Talk to you tomorrow!