Our day began with a trip to the Yangshan port. On the way there, our tour guide for the day, a business man in the freight-forwarding business, talked to us about his work in logistics and adjusting to life in China and Shanghai. He told us that he hadn’t much considered living in China, but he followed his work and hasn’t looked back since. While he ranted and raved about the food and the culture and the respect and kindness that westerners are automatically treated with, I pondered over whether I would make that same jump, working on the other side of the world. It seems like a scary proposition on the surface, but I’ve been navigating my time in China pretty well so far. I think if I learn anything from this trip it’s that the world is much smaller than I’ve been led to believe, so maybe I could work overseas someday.
After two hours in a bus, we were finally at the Yangshan Port, one of the largest container ports in the world. Like many of sites we visit, the sheer size of the port alone was impressive. Our tour guide explained to us how it was all built in under two years, a feat that would be unheard of for a project this size in the US. He then pointed out all the heavy machinery used in loading and unloading the freight from the boats. I was surprised at how little it had been automated, given the repetitive and predictable nature of the task. I spoke to the tour guide about this and he agreed that the freight industry was behind in that respect, so there’s a possible business opportunity.