overseas manufacturing in developing countries

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re: 'even' luxury companies manufacturing in china- can't have 'too much' profit. the place i quit sold upmarket geegaws and knicknacks in posh homeware stores, has a big share of the outdoor pursuits clothing & equipment market, not low-margin stuff

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Thursday, 6 October 2011 18:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost yeah compulsory overtime is a whole different thing and of course there are different ways in which it can be 'compelled'.

another interesting wrinkle-- Chinese govt labor laws state that workers should be compensated by time worked whereas a lot of workers prefer to be compensated per finished piece.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 6 October 2011 18:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

i've worked on insane fishing boats for the summer too!

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Thursday, 6 October 2011 18:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

whereas a lot of workers prefer to be compensated per finished piece

Wasn't this how Stalin did it?

What does one wear to a summery execution? Linen? (Michael White), Thursday, 6 October 2011 18:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

laurel I think notions of amount of hours considered to be inhumane is going to be informed as much by culture and necessity and willingness as much as by some objective limit of what we consider humane.

otm I consider 40 hour weeks inhumane considering how much money this country has

iatee, Thursday, 6 October 2011 18:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

laurel I think notions of amount of hours considered to be inhumane is going to be informed as much by culture and necessity and willingness as much as by some objective limit of what we consider humane.

The complaint I have heard is that the regs our plants are required to follow limit the work-day to a Western-standard value, ie 8 hours or no more than 10-hr shifts, 4 days a week, or something, and the workers are frustrated by not being allowed to put in more time. NB I have not spoken to the mainland China employees personally in Chinese without mgmt present so I cannot promise that this is their true opinion, but that's what I hear.

Octavia Butler's gonna be piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiised (Laurel), Thursday, 6 October 2011 18:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

If fuel costs end up making container ships a relatively expensive way to ship things, the world is going to change in a massive, massive way.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 09:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

that is the underlying concern of the suburbs thread and the energy thread and like a million other threads

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 10:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'm also wondering how much of it is actual worker feedback and how much of that is predatory bosses - "oh yeah, our workers want to work MORE!" *pockets money* xxp

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 10:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

A one-dollar rise in world oil prices leads to a 1 percent rise in trade transport costs. In terms of the marine and inland transport movement of a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Columbus, Ohio, the total transport cost was $3,000 when oil prices were $20 per barrel in the year 2000. Today at $140 per barrel, the cost is $8,000, and should oil prices rise to $200 per barrel transport cost would rise to $15,000 per FEU

http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/Modal_Shift_Study_-_Technical_Report.pdf

!!

We may get our industry back, people!!

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

it's a definite possibility, though it's such a huge concept and so diametric to trends over the past 20+ years that it's hard to get your head around it.

Village blacksmith ftw

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

or what you said upthread, dayo, i.e. peak oil will save us

i.e. mommy will take the candy away

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

30 years ago you could ship a 40-foot container across the pacific for $3000

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 10:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

hmm can i say 'diametric' like that? To the grammar fiends thread

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

that report says that even in 2000 you could get a 40-foot container all the way across the pacific and up to columbus OH for $3000.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

would be an interesting study imo- what effect, if any, has the ability to kick a ball in the street had on the cost of transoceanic goods transportation ?

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

oh sorry i didn't realize we were doing this

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

brb

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

(think "diametrical" would be better in that context, not sure why)

mark s, Friday, 7 October 2011 10:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

'diametrically opposed' yeah.

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 10:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

I find this photo really touching - behind every strong iphone stands an even stronger chinese worker working 12 hours a day

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 10:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

Ford, GE and Otis Elevator are among companies that have all just recently announced moves of labor back to the US.

Trying to find good articles that are not WSJ-paywalled.

Supposedly some of it is rising labor costs in China (I had a feeling eventually this would happen) and rising transportation/warehousing costs, but there's some speculation it's partly an image thing, especially with a company like Ford.

I guess an assume-a-can-opener economist would argue that this is what's supposed to happen -- the same free market that drives manufacturing overseas should also eventually drive the cost of manufacturing in other countries up and we should move toward some kind of equilibrium. In reality I find it hard to believe that things work that way for a number of reasons.

Disraeli Geirs (Hurting 2), Friday, 7 October 2011 12:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

Well yeah, partly because rising standards of living in China usually just mean pushing things out to even poorer parts of the world.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 12:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

If fuel goes up, wages gotta go down

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 12:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

assume-a-canopener would then posit that the increased competition for labour would eventually bring up wages, standards in those economies also, tho

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 12:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

A rising tide lifts all container ships!

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 12:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

ha!

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 13:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

Xpost - and yes I am skipping a zillion posts to make a point that has probably already been made loads of times upthread.

yes, it's incredibly exploitative of the workers who under any reasonable standard of fairness shouldn't have to work in what are, by all accounts, pretty horrific conditions.

Horrific conditions are not intirinsic to overseas manufacture. The problem is surely the horrific conditions, not the overseas manufacture. It is probably quite economically advantageous to have overseas manufacturing taking place in reasonable enough conditions, given the pay differentials between po' countries and the first world.

however, the harsh economic and social realities of the country they were born into make it so that these jobs are often their only alternative to an even harsher existence.

this is also a valid point - except in those countries that still have slavery and serfdom, people are free to decide whether working for peanuts in a maquiladora is a better or worse deal than loafing around as a landles agricultural labourer (or whatever); without Foxconn they do not even have that choice.

Campaigns drawning attention to factory conditions that we would consider unacceptable are useful as way of forcing some improvement in those conditions.

The New Dirty Vicar, Friday, 7 October 2011 13:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

Well yeah, partly because rising standards of living in China usually just mean pushing things out to even poorer parts of the world.

― TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, October 7, 2011 8:34 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark

Keep in mind there are vast regions of China where these industries have not even happened yet, so it may just mean pushing things to a different, poorer region of China. But that means more distance from those new manufacturing regions to the port and there's those fuel costs again...

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Friday, 7 October 2011 15:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

Right..

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 15:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

I keep forgetting that maritime transport is probably as important as it's ever been in the history of the world. I guess it just seems like boats belong to the past, or something.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 15:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

Step off about my boats, Tracer Hand, if that's even your real name.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

^will read that!

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

boats are kind of a thing iirc

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

Also. Boats crucially important = PIRATES super important.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

i've seen them

at-zing-two-boards (darraghmac), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

haven't been good in years

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 16:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

I have that book! Did not finish. Should give it another go.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

Container ships being unloaded every day practically across the street from my office, at the Port of Cleveland.

You people are supposed to be some kind of music culture intelligentsi (Phil D.), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

container ships use the lowest grade diesel fuel too, right? huge polluters

read that maersk was building a few more ships that are gonna break the world record for biggest container ships

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 16:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

once a big boat dumped a bunch of shipping containers off the coast of rhode island in a huge storm and for months afterwards mocassins and little teddy bears would come ashore shopping wet and salty

max, Friday, 7 October 2011 16:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

Container ports/yards FASCINATE me. I could sit and watch Elizabeth, NJ for hours.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

http://www.porttechnology.org/news/maersk_to_build_10_of_the_worlds_largest_ever_container_ships

current list of world's biggest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_container_ships

so the new ones are gonna have 30% more capacity than the current ones. O_o

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 16:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

laurel if you ever visit hong kong, go here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwai_Tsing_Container_Terminals

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 16:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

i love those humongo cranes

max, Friday, 7 October 2011 16:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

Wire season two IMO

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

there's a bus that runs on a highway parallel to the container yard in HK - you feel like it just goes on for miles

dayo, Friday, 7 October 2011 16:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

I can't go to HK/Shenzhen/China due to my chronic health issues, which sucks because my job would happily send me there in a hot minute and I would be psyched to go.

Axolotl with an Atlatl (Jon Lewis), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

xp My books go there!!!!!

Do I even have to tell you how much I loved Season 2 of The Wire?

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 7 October 2011 16:22 (3 years ago) Permalink


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