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Overdrive Extra

James Jaillet

Photos: What a Chinese truck stop is like

| July 09, 2014

In a recent trip to Shanghai, China, for Shell Lubricants’ annual global media event, we were treated to a visit to a Chinese truck stop outside of town. 

And as you can guess, it was a good bit different than your average American stop.


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For starters, this truck stop — deemed a tiny one — had parking spaces for about 400 trucks. According to our tour guides, it’s not uncommon for a Chinese truck stop to hold upwards of 10,000 trucks. 

And of shocking absence? Fuel islands. I’m not sure if this was out of the ordinary or if Chinese truckers just fuel their rigs elsewhere, but it was quite a departure from norm in the U.S., where fuel islands basically anchor most truck stops. 

Here is a brief photo essay of our visit to the truck stop: 


The entrance to the truck stop.




This Chinese owner-operator (dubbed owner-drivers there) showed us around his rig. Like in Europe, they’re all cabovers in China, and the sleeper “berths” are more like a cot squeezed in behind the seats.



Roughly 70 percent of the trucks on the road in China are owned and driven by single-truck owner-operators, our guides said.



At this truck stop, shipping containers had been turned into offices for freight brokerages. The brokers working the offices have lined up loads, and the owner-operators at the truck stop can get loads from them. Nearly all of these containers here housed broker offices.



The brokers write their available loads on dry erase boards outside the office.


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The “drivers’ lounge” at this truck stop, where drivers can rest and play cards.



Though there’s no official store front at the truck stop, one of the shipping containers does house a little shop where drivers can get snacks, drinks and cigarettes.

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  • manyguestprease

    Very reminiscent of most Pilots/Flying j’s in the Northeast.

  • Deez Nuts

    No, they actually have parking spots.

  • Mike Smith

    LMAO……………… The people look a little different I’ll bit!

  • quickphil

    Could you imagine 10000 trucks at a stop in the US it would be a nightmare

  • Kast55

    We do not have to go too far. I go into Canada all the time and the most common truck stops are name “Husky”, some of them are hole in the wall and others are just for cars, so you better be careful.

    They do have Pilots/Flying J’s but they are not that many and very far apart.

  • manyguestprease

    You ain’t fibbing, man!

  • Bobby

    looks like the Valley in the 70’s

  • Happy Canuck

    You are not only blind but stupid. I live in Canada and we have lots old time truck stops where mom and dad prepare food. We do have some Husky’s that need work but at least our truck stops you don’t need a gun with you. You can leave your truck unlocked (except in Quebec) and get up in the morning in peace. Some of you Americans are so brainwashed thinking you have the best country to live in. Unbelievable; unless you like fantasize being a cowboy wearing a gun. Kast 55 I can tell you only run the corridor between Detroit and Toronto. Well this section of Canada is in the armpit of the USA. No wonder it stinks. Try coming north. It is gorgeous

  • Gerald Wood

    that number 10000 trucks & the fact there are no fuel islands. Means there are no Rest Rooms. The drivers piss on the ground, in this field used as a truck stop. (im thinking cholera).

  • Bruce Chopstix

    one nasty place to be.

  • Mark Hayward

    Canada will always be better than USA because Canada is a net Oil Exporter.. and you all have oil money to support your social Policies and Socialized Medicine. Plus your Govenment has not managed to grow to such a Grand Scale as to Regulate Bankrupt the Country like USA. yet I have read Canada is very far in debt too..

  • TheTruth

    For someone who claims to live in a great country you seem very angry. Your “truck stops” are shameful. They are not safe as you claim. You choose to separate parts of your own country and only keep what you consider to be good yet you condemn all of the USA. That brings us back to your first sentence…I think everyone can clearly see that it now fits you to a “T”.

  • Glen

    The USA is a net exporter of oil and diesel too. Canada has it’s positives and negatives just like any other country. I personally see very little difference between the two countries, other than population. Cities suck on both sides of the border. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.