China Breakbulk - a week in shipping

This week I got the opportunity to get a feel of the shipping industry anno 2014. Quite often I come across expats from this industry who have moved to Shanghai due to a relocation and good opportunities. Therefore I have a bit of knowledge about shipping, still I find that it is such a technical industry. As a friend of mine from the industry puts it: Line, basically it is just getting things from A to B. Yes I am sure it is. Still, the thought of the logistic involved in shipping... Ting bu dong.    

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A good friend from Copenhagen was recently relocated here to open an office for the Danish  shipping company he works for. They specialize in shipping "things" from A to B that CAN NOT fit into a container... (!). An example: a helicopter. And yes it could probably fly on its own but that would be so much more expensive. Another and funnier example is when they had to move the Olympics' baseball field from London to Rio de Janeiro last year. Oh how I Wish I had a picture of that to post... 

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Anyways, my friend Peter who is now titled director of this company's Shanghai department asked me to come and represent his company at the Breakbulk China. It is the largest conference & exhibition in Asia addressing the needs of traditional breakbulk and project cargo logisticians. It was a busy week with trying to combine my Chinese studies with this conference. And so interesting. I met people from all over the world and from different shipping companies. And I had great opportunities to practice a little bit of Chinese. Unfortunately, my vocabulary does not cover anything useful in regards to shipping. Maybe in a couple of years or 10...

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I also experienced a little bit of the Chinese business and networking culture in practice. Here, I learned that like any other place business cards are very popular, free gifts are all over the place and drinking with clients are part of the game.

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On the last day Mr. Zhao who has a shipping agent company here in Shanghai gave me a horse (as it is the year of the horse) with gold on its back which means I will get rich this year. I tried to explain him that I already feel very rich not because of the money in my bank account but because of other things money can not buy. Mr. Zhao did not really understand what I meant...

I happily accepted the horse and just can't wait to get rich this year! 

Some people are so poor all they have is money
— unknown