China has recently been called a new up and coming economic power in the world. Up until now their society has always been extremely closed to influences from the outside world. More recently the Chinese government has been relaxing some of the rules within their nation and the Chinese have slowly become more westernized. Although they have one of the oldest societies, they have not been considered tied in to the world economy with respect to importing since the majority of their products are made in China and used or exported out of the country.
The Chinese are especially not known for being a strong importer from the United States and for many years there has been a growing trade imbalance. Shipping lines and freight forwarders have been learning to cope with by repositioning shipping containers and timing their international cargo shipping to keep a steady flow. Thankfully the market has seen a change and we can see more exports moving out to China as they have become more open to other parts of the world. According to the Journal of Commerce, commodities like agriculture, chemicals and transportation equipment are among the most aggressive. They have recently put out a listing of which US States have been exporting the most to China.
Although the Chinese government still has a very strong hold on its people, the more trade opens up, the more we will start to see better ocean freight rates and more free trade in this trade lane. The freight shipping costs alone will be a huge win for the shipping industry.