For this year’s Intermodal ASIA, the management team from iCON Hamburg traveled to China for the first time. While we were there, we also visited container manufacturers in Taichang and Nantong and met with old and new acquaintances. Being close to our suppliers is incredibly important for future collaborations and the high quality of our products.

Shanghai Container

Shanghai at night

First impressions of China

From the moment we stepped off the plane in China, we couldn’t help but notice the advancing industrialization. Giant building complexes, huge train stations with never-ending platforms and blocks of houses as far as the eye can see. These numerous technical advancements can be found everywhere and never ceased to fascinate me.

After being welcomed by Mr. Zhen Gong, we got on a high speed train that was supposed to take us to Shanghai at a speed of 400 km/h – incredible! The train surpassed our expectations by going as fast as 430 km/h and we reached our destination in only 20 minutes. Fascinating to think such an infrastructure exists in China when you consider our own Deutsche Bahn

iCON Container Shanghai China

Wulf Aufgebauer and Mirella Engelhardt having dinner at a street kitchen

Where containers are made

Another highlight of our trip was getting an insight into the production process at the container factories. The factory bus picked us up and took us to Taichang and Nangtong. Crossing the Yangtze Kiang took several minutes and left a lasting impression. With a total length of 6,380 km, it is the longest river in China and an important hub for many industries. Ships, even larger container ships, can be used on more than 2,000 km of the river.

Inside the factories, we were fascinated by the fully automated production of different container types. The highlight of our tour was witnessing the production of the ONE containers. Ocean Network Express was founded by “K”-Line, MOL, and NYK in July last year. The container’s bright pink color is sure to attract attention.

Container Factory

At the container factory

Wining and dining

When we weren’t in business meetings, we spent our time exploring the cultural and culinary treats China has to offer. Shanghai has a lot to offer in terms of street food and Peking duck restaurants. There is something for every taste – whether you prefer meat, fish, vegetarian, or completely exotic meals.

I also highly recommend the OLD JAZZ BAND at the PEACE Hotel. Whether you want to enjoy some fine jazz or meet a business partner for a drink at the bar, this is the place to be. This band knows its craft!

My conclusion: China is a technologically highly advanced country with many culinary and cultural highlights, and a warm and welcoming people!

By Mirella Engelhardt