In the first nine months of this year, Shenzhen port handled almost a million boxes more than Hong Kong. There is little doubt that it will move past its neighbour into the world's third busiest container port by the time the New Year bubbly is raised.
On February 1, Shenzhen will have the highest minimum wage in China. Factories in the manufacturing hub will be paying workers no less than 1,500 RMB a month, or US$237. Instead of holding off on the increase for a year, the municipality decided to go ahead with a 13.6 percent rise in the wage.
Orders from European and US importers have hit all time lows, pushing the thousands of mainland factories to the brink and many over the edge. With many operating at limited capacity, factories have been battling to cope with a sharp drop in orders in the past few months.
Not so fast, said the Indonesian government. That is way too many. Instead, the trade ministry suggested at a recent seminar in Jakarta that each province should have an international port. But with 33 provinces, that is still about 28 ports too many.
The most difficult part of running a port or shipping line in an economic downturn is the unpredictability of demand. Throw in oil price and currency volatility and any market forecasting may as well be left to Madame Zedora and her crystal ball.