Roger von Oech

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China's "in AND out" appears to exceed the total of the rest of the world - can't be! It would be very helpful to have metrics with these maps!!

Roger von Oech

Randy: Good point. Here is the text from the Worldmapper description: "There are more shipping containers loaded and unloaded off the coasts and rivers of China, than travel to or from all other territories put together. It is in China that more than three-quarters of this activity takes place. The majority of China’s shipping by implication appears to be ‘domestic’. The rest of the world put together only handles a third of what China handles. Thus at least half of all container shipping in the world involves China."

Jorge Castillo

I believe that prices in China are rising because of a natural process: they are on the road to becoming a developed country. They are now aware that they can do business worldwide so they want their slice of the pie.

China is now manufacturing for all the world but someday it will become a well developed contry. Then China will have to look for another "China" to buy cheap from.

Is India on the road to become the next China?

About the map: look at Africa. How is it possible for a whole continent to be out of the scene??

Roger von Oech

Jorge: "China is now manufacturing for all the world but someday it will become a well developed contry. Then China will have to look for another "China" to buy cheap from."

When I was in Vietnam two years ago, Intel announced it was committing $600 million to build a big fab. Other companies have since followed. The talk often heard is: "China's gotten too expensive, Vietnam is cheaper."

Mario Vellandi

Another factor affecting the production location of certain types of items are import duties and quotas. A former employer used to produce wax candles and vases in China, but the US duty was prohibitively high, so they stopped. Vietnam and the Philippines have more favorable conditions for some good classes.

Shrikant Sortur

This is happening for sure. And will continue to do so in the near future. Labor costs in China and India is going up. Since the US Economy is slowing down and add to it a weak dollar in the past year or so, the factors listed by Roger is what most of the businesses in US will find themselves in, if not already.

My take on this is as follows:

1. China and India (I add this to the argument) will see rising costs related to labor and material. Both the countries are seeing growth that is concentrated to bigger cities. This puts pressure on land space / real estate available and also availability of the 'right' kind of personnel (labor)

2. For both these countries the biggest market is USA. (Manufacturing for China & Services for India). When US economy was booming, consumers spent a lot. Now that is not the case. To cut costs, US sent manufacturing to China and Services to India. This resulted in a large flow of US Dollars into those countries and in turn weakened the dollar.

With weak US economy, either these countries need to control their cost or be prepared to see some of their jobs go to another cost effective country. (Vietnam, Turkey, Brazil, Phillipines etc)

Another interesting thing that is happening as China and India are doing well and people have more disposible income, they spend it by drinking Coke / Pepsi, buying consumer products made by US companies including GM and Ford Cars. If this feeds US economy (by way of US Companies being able to tap the huge retail market in these countries) then we will see the world economy grow.

If China and India get to a point where costs keep growing with no corresponding benefit to US companies, then there is trouble for all concerned.

Roger von Oech

Mario: Good points.

Shrinkant: Interesting point of view. It will be interesting to see what happens — and to participate in it as it happens!


This enforces my belief that China is a large contributor to the negative environmental impact that humans have...all that shipping in all those plastic, non-recyclable containers. Not to mention the fossil fuel consumption! I was in Chengdu a few years ago and I cannot forget the enormity of pollution that so many people produce.

Roger von Oech

Curtis: According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, cargo ships are among the biggest contributors to air pollution. The reason: their engines burn the fuel inefficiently and belch the exhaust (relatively uncleaned) straight into the air. There's a great opportunity for a green-minded entrepreneur.

I can't blame China for this: if all the manufacturing were in Brazil, there'd still be the same container engine pollution issue.

Shakespeare's Fool

Curtis and Roger,

Am I wrong to thing that the "containers" referred to in the caption to the map are the steel or aluminum boxes that are lifted from tucks to ships and from the ships to trucks--
containers that are reused for decades?


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