In the morning we checked out from Magnificent Hotel and we drove by bus to the Shanghai office of Panalpina. There we had the great opportunity to meet the COO of Panalpina, Mr. Karl Weyeneth who was on a business trip in China. Mr. Weyeneth gave us a short and interesting introduction about his company which offers supply chain management solutions for major key industries such as oil and gas, hi-tech, automative, health care or retail and fashion. We also learned that Panalpina does not own assets like airplanes, ships or trucks and that networks are Panalpina´s most important advantage.
Furthermore, Mr. Weyeneth explained us how Panalpina is affected by the economic crisis: As Panalpina´s customers have less goods to be transported the company’s business volume will decrease too. Panalpina´s worldwide outlook is negative due to this fact, apart from China, which is one of the few countries with a positive outlook.
Mr. Robert Timmerman, Panalpina´s Area MD for the Greater China Region gave us some more specific information about the Chinese Market. He explained that China is expected to become the biggest logistic market in the world as there is a continous growth at a pace of 30% per year. He mentioned that the Yangtze River area has the greatest potential for commercial development within China. We also talked about networking in the Middle Kingdom and Mr. Timmerman pointed up that networking in China is very challenging. Our company visit ended with a Q&A session and a group picture in front of the Panalpina logo.
After our company visit we drove to Hangzhou (a city with 6.2 million inhabitants) by bus. We visited the famous Lingyin temple with its hundreds of Buddha statues.
Our Chinese tour guide not only showed us the main attraction, a laughing Buddha, she also brought us to a very “useful” place. There was a Buddha statue from which it is said that everybody who takes a picture with this statue will become very rich in the future. Obviously our group wanted to have another group picture in front of the statue.
Unfortunately it was raining when we left the Linying temple in direction to the West Lake. Despite the rain we went on a short boat ride which was pretty nice.
After the boat ride we drove to our hotel in Hangzhou. For diner, most of us followed our tour guide to a Chinese restaurant. There was not that much food as during the Beijing Duck Diner on the first night here in China, therefore many of us drank alternatively the excellent Chinese beer.