The Emma Maersk hasn't berthed quite yet. She has an ETA on the Port of Felixstowe's Trinity terminal of 17:30 today.
I work on that very terminal, but as today is the first of my rest days, I won't be working her.
There's a viewing area at Landguard Point which is expected to be very busy. Apparently, people from all over the UK will be going there to see her. I can't say her arrival particularly rings my bells, but then I don't suppose it would! Yes she helps to pay my wages, but she's just another ship to me.
of a very large wedge, and is getting publicity because of the size of the vessel. The goods have been coming here from the same source for years, and each Christmas sees a larger and larger proporton of our Christmas fancy goods being manufactured in mainland China and Hong Kong.
One of my clients is a very big importer and wholesaler of fancy goods, and he has a fair bit of stock onboard the ship in question. This man travels to China and Hong Kong a dozen times a year to buy and commission new products, and I handle the IT side of things for him. New products for the UK market are developed in conjunction with Chinese designers and manufacturers, and we do almost all the work via the internet, sharing image and text files via a collaborative working area I set up a couple of years back. Once the product has reached the prototype stage we arrange for a sample to be sent via FEDEX, so the client can make final decisions - then a firm order is placed via the web-based working space. I can track the order's progress through the various factories from the time the go-ahead is given, and watch it going into containers and onto ships in Hong Kong or Shanghai. Once the ship has sailed I can track its progress until it's docked, unloaded and delivered into the UK warehouse. There, the goods are palleted and delivered to retail outlets all over the country. each pallet is barcoded and tracked as it makes its way to its destination.
When the goods are finally past their best, and disposed of they make their way back to China, via the UK plastic recycling industry, to be made into yet more goods for export. China has this trade sewn up - they know exactly how to provide the market with what it wants, when it wants it, at a price it likes.
This trade is increasing, and we're not the only country to which China sends such quantities. In future we'll see more vessels like the Emma Maersk.