As some measure of how slow China manufacturing is now, all I have to do is look at the number of unsolicited emails I get from vendors on a weekly basis. From the week of 7/9 -7/16. I received 20 unsolicited emails from vendors in China. These are emails from trading companies or factories advertising their products to me. In that same week I probably received about 20 emails from shipping or logistics companies. So figure about 40 unsolicited emails on average per week now.
If I go back to January of this year, picking a week at random, I see that from 1/14/13 to 1/21/13 I received just six unsolicited emails from vendors in China.
And if you go back further, to July last year, from 7/9/12 to 7/16/12 I received just two unsolicited emails from vendors in China – and both of those were vendors I had dealt with in the past.
The increase in the number of unsolicited emails I am receiving these days just makes a lot of sense when you consider the slump China manufacturing is mired in, all indicators way down from last year at this time. I find the emails from logistics companies alone fascinating because I read so many stories nowadays about the excess in container cargo space out of China. The big shipping companies are really struggling.
Still, I can’t say I mind all the emails because it just means that I have a much bigger pool of new vendors to consider. These are obviously vendors who want business. And that is very important in and of itself because you do not want to partner with a vendor who does not express enthusiasm for your business. Plenty of those unenthusiastic vendors out there as well, bad economy in China notwithstanding. Of course, I am sure there is a LOT of riff-raff among the companies who send me these emails but I am sure there are some diamonds in the rough as well.
I just wonder if we will ever get back to the “normal” few emails a week rate ? I kind of doubt it because China manufacturing is just different now.