By Rieva Lesonsky


So far in Alibaba.com’s Discover Today video series, we’ve traveled to Shenzhen, a city that is laser focused on making consumer electronics and Shantou, where 70% of the toys in the world are made. And now we’re headed to Changsha, China.

Changsha is the capital and largest city in Hunan province in south central China. It functions as the provincial center of politics, economy, culture, science, education, science and trade. A city of more than 7 million people, Changsha first became a vital commercial city between 750 and 1100. Today it is known as the “city of steel” because of all the machinery manufacturers located there.

Many of the machinery manufacturers are located in Changsha’s Economic and Technological Development Zone. Some of the biggest industries located in the Zone include, advanced machinery manufacturing, which includes construction equipment and auto and auto parts manufacturing.

In 2016, Changsha exported $8.7 billion worth of goods. North America, according to Statista, is one of the largest markets for construction equipment.

Mega-Success in Changsha

One of the most successful companies in the Zone is the Sany Group. Sany is a great entrepreneurial success story. Founded in 1989 as a small welding factory, today it’s the largest construction machinery corporation in China, and the 5th largest in the world.

Sany Heavy Industry Co. is part of Sany Group, and is one of the world’s top 500 companies in the construction machinery industry. It focuses on engineering and manufacturing concrete machinery, excavators, cranes, road machinery, harbor machinery, wind power equipment and more

Sany Heavy  Industry has the “only intelligent machinery warehouse in China,” and thousands of production lines. The company sells to 160 counties.

Excavator sales

According to a report from XinhuNet, last year, “Sales by China’s biggest excavator manufacturers almost doubled”: 25 of the leading excavator manufacturers sold more than 140,000 machines, a huge 99.5% surge in sales. And exports grew 32%, compared to 2016. Sany Heavy Industry sold more than 30,000 excavators in 2017, and said sales were “booming” across its entire range of products.

XinhuNet says analysts estimate Chinese excavator sales “might grow 10%-20%” this year, which is a positive sign of global economic vitality, since excavator sales often indicate a region or country, investing in infrastructure.

Intelligent manufacturing

Sany Heavy Industry’s excavators are unique, boast hi-tech designs and are built to work in tiny corners. The machines are built to withstand harsh weather conditions. The cabs are comfortable to sit in, the machines are easy to maintain and environmentally friendly.

Take a look at the SANY SY16C 1.6 ton Digging Mini Walking Excavator, a small machine that can maneuver into small spaces and is perfect for farms. Sany is offering this machine with  the 15% off LCL (less than container load) discount for shipping to the U.S. Also available with the LCL offer is the SANY SY35U Excavator Machine Mini 3.5t Excavator China Mini Digger, which comes with a Yanmar engine and is fuel efficient.

The R&D never stops at Sany Heavy Industry—it has its own university, Sany Engineering College, where they develop staff and provide professional training. They also offer online service, where customers can order and get service directly.

Sany Heavy Industry says they’re helping transform from Made in China to intelligent manufacturing in China.

Mini excavators

Another machinery manufacturer in Changsha, Sunward Intelligent Equipment Company, specializes in mini and compact excavators, though they also sell medium-sized and large machines—some up to 90 tons. Founded in 1999, Sunward sells its equipment to more than 100 countries.

Sunward offers a variety of different designs, including the Sunward Mini Compact Small Excavator SWE25UB/SWE25UF. It’s a small, flexible machine that works—and turns in a narrow space. Or check out the Sunward Medium/Large Excavator SWE210, with a double arc shaped bucket and improved loading capacity (by 10%). The cabin is FOPS/ROPS certified, offering the driver a wide view and six-direction adjustable seats.

Then there’s the “monster” machine, the “famous on Alibaba.com” Sunward Rotary Drilling Rig SWDM280, which, with its “super torque drilling ability,” can drill down about 443 feet into the earth.

Sunward makes the hardware and software for their equipment themselves. Many come with built-in GPS so they can check the condition of the equipment no matter where it is from China. Representatives from all departments go to where the customers are, so they can check out the local conditions and how people use the machines.

The company offers 24-hour online service. If replacement parts are needed they’re sent from Alibaba.com in four hours and if more help is necessary, they’ll dispatch an engineer within a day.

March Expo promotions

Now is the time to buy, since it’s the last week of March Expo, Alibaba.com’s month-long sale featuring many deals, promotions and discounts. To take advantage of the deals, check out the action on Alibaba.com and the Alibaba.com mobile app (sign up here) today through March 31.

One of the special incentives being offered during March Expo is 15% off LCL shipping (less than container load) from China to the U.S. It’s all part of Alibaba.com’s new logistics service, which lets small businesses take advantage of Alibaba.com’s existing infrastructure to save time, save money and simplify shipping.

Look into Alibaba.com’s Secure Payment services. Alibaba.com is also introducing a new T/T transaction service during March Expo. This service allows buyers making Trade Assurance orders to make initial payments into a U.S.-based Citibank account. Previously Trade Assurance orders were processed through a Hong Kong-based Citibank account. This speeds up processing time to 2 to 3 days from 3 to 7 days. It also reduces fees, on average, by $15.

Stay current on all the great opportunities at March Expo by following @AlibabaTalk and the #DiscoverNewMarch hashtag on social media.