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Shanghai is not just a big city

Our vessel mv Fairlift was instructed to head for Shanghai loading three so called knuckleboom cranes each weighing 235 Tons. After departure in Singapore we soon headed North through the south China sea following the aftermath of super typhoon Vongfong.

Shanghai caught my attention during the voyage as I was reading the nautical books. It’s a massive city with 22 million registered citizens and probably almost as much unregistered workers. The area Shanghai is build on is as vast as a province in the Netherlands. More than 200 smaller towns surround Shanghai with the main purpose of food supply for the residents of Shanghai. So Shanghai with it’s supporting communities is larger in size than the Netherlands. Population density is a staggering five people per square meter! I imagined them being on the streets of Shanghai all at the same time. That will result in a pile of people about five meters in height on all the streets of Shanghai.

Not only is Shanghai a huge city. It’s also China’s main import and export seaport. As a of matter fact it’s one of the world’s busiest port’s. Our quay was located on the other end of Shanghai meaning we had to travel far up river crossing the entire city. At first I was excited about this thought but after understanding the massive needs of the city I started realizing that traffic on the river would be beyond believe. This thought became reality after we started to proceed up river towards our quay all the way in south Shanghai. I was happy we got pilot assistance because an ordinary person can’t imagine the traffic density. It’s like taking a taxi cab in downtown Bombay. Only difference here is that we were not completely congested by cars and motorcycles but by huge container vessels and bulkers going everywhere and the remaining water was filled up by local barges and small trade vessels of all kinds.

This very interesting trip took us almost 7 hours. A bit more than three hours on the main river  and almost four hours through Shanghai. The attached timelapse shows the part through the city accompanied by some pictures made later on site by our two apprentices who were able to visit the City of Shanghai tourist style the day after arrival. They went up the highest towers in the Pudong area and made the pictures at a height of almost 500 meters which was great.

I made this video because it’s a very special occasion sailing through an entire city during daylight with beautiful weather, I was very impressed and felt like I had to share this with you.

Kind regards,

Captain Fairlift
Dennis Terpstra

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