11 Major Ports of the World
There is no denying that the maritime shipping sector is essential to the upkeep and expansion of the international economy, with ocean freight accounting for 90% of all worldwide trade. Ports are one of its most significant players – more specifically, it is the ports’ capacity to manage the entrance and outflow of commodities, whether they are used as a transshipment point, a place of origin, or a final destination. Asia, specifically China, is home to the majority of the top ports around the globe. The fact that Chinese ports dominate the list of top ports in the world should not be surprising given China’s economic strength. In addition to being the top port in the world, China is also home to more than half of the top 11 ports on this list. Here we mentioned 11 major ports of the world, each distinct and special in its own right, are described in depth below.
Top 11 Busiest Ports of the World
1. Port of Shanghai
In terms of port activity worldwide in 2022, the Shanghai Port is at the top. This port, which is situated in the city of Shanghai in the People’s Republic of China, is also thought to have the fastest-growing economy globally. In 2019, the Port of Shanghai replaced its Singaporean rival as the largest port in the world, processing an astounding 37.1 Million TEUs of cargo.
For the Yangtze River and the East China Sea, the port creates a particularly efficient maritime ports channel. The expansion of the port has been acknowledged as being a key component in the growth of the city of Shanghai.
The port, which covers an area of 4 sq. km, is a key hub for marine international trade and business. It is equipped with the most up-to-date facilities and is connected to vital trade routes all over the world by a vast network of freight and passenger lines.
The port became the busiest container facility in the world in 2020 when the volume of cargo it handles annually exceeded 43.5 million TEUs. It primarily manages bulk shipments of steel, machinery, construction materials, metal ores, coal, petroleum, and their derivatives.
2. Port of Singapore
The Singapore port, which is regarded as one of the busiest ports in the world, is a collective name for all porting locations included in the port. The Singaporean economic system has greatly benefited from Singapore’s assistance. The port, which is regarded as the largest center for transshipment activities, handled roughly 30.9 million Twenty-Feet Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2019.
With 600 seaports in more than 100 countries, the Singapore port is the busiest container transshipment facility in the entire globe. Additionally, the port of Singapore has one of the biggest bunkering facilities across the globe.
It has 84 berths distributed among 6 significant port terminals. The port’s annual throughput in 2020 was 37.5 million TEUs. Currently, 130,000 vessels call on the port each year. The terminals at the port can handle a variety of bulk, breakbulk, liquid, and containerized shipments. They manage oil, petroleum products, natural gas, cement, cars, machines, etc. with efficiency.
3. Port of Shenzhen
In Guangdong, China, the Shenzhen port is made up of a number of ports that span the Shenzhen shoreline. It has five major terminals and is separated into two main eastern and western port districts. One of the busiest ports worldwide, the port handled more than 26.54 million TEUs in 2020.
140 berths in the port can accommodate various types of cargo and container ships of different sizes. 19 facilities are designated for handling containers, and 51 wharves are reserved for ships weighing more than 20,000 DWT. Additionally, the port offers 18 passenger slots.
The industrial facilities and businesses located on the River Pearl delta are serviced by the port of Shenzhen. With a total commerce volume of more than 24 million TEU in 2019, it ranked third. Particularly in the southern region of the Chinese mainland, the port is recognized as the second-most active maritime port in China.
More than 100 countries and 300 significant ports are connected to the port. Additionally, approximately 120 container lines have been launched at the port from about 40 major shipping companies.
4. Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan
The Ningbo Port is located in the Zhejiang province, next to Hangzhou Bay, on the coast of the East China Sea. With more than 28.72 million TEUs handled in 2020, it will rank as the third busiest port in the world. With 600 ports in 150 different countries, the port offers shipping connections.
Bulk, breakbulk, crude oil, product oil, liquid chemicals, cereals, coal, and machinery are among the main commodities handled at this port. The port has about 300 operational berths that can accommodate vessels weighing more than 50,000 DWT and 19 port areas.
The facility for transporting crude oil, the international container terminal, and a terminal specifically designed for handling liquid chemicals are its three largest terminals. The largest ships and carriers in the world, weighing more than 200,000 tonnes, are handled by these facilities.
Due to its cutting-edge logistics system and top-notch container handling capabilities, the Port of Ningbo has earned a reputation for offering its clients prompt and dependable services. The offices of the top shipping businesses in the world are located on port property.
5. Port of Guangzhou
One of the most significant Chinese ports, Guangzhou Port has marine trade ties to more than 300 ports in over 100 nations. The Guangzhou Port Group Ltd. owns it, and in 2020 it handled more than 23.19 million TEUs, making it the fifth busiest container terminal in the entire world.
It is strategically situated at the confluence of three significant rivers and has been in use since ancient times. For the industries in the area, which are found in places like Guanxi, Sichuan, Hubei, etc., the port acts as a vital transportation hub. The port, which has 49 wharves, transports a variety of agricultural and industrial products, including cereals, grains, metal ores, oil, coal, fertilizers, chemicals, and autos.
More than 75% of the cargo traffic at the port is handled by Nansha port, which is a part of the main Guangzhou port area. More than 20 berths and more than 60 specialized cranes are present in Nansha port. It can also fit the largest cargo ships.
6. Port of Busan
Busan port, which belongs to the South Korean government, is located at the end of the peninsula. The port is divided into two areas: the eastern port area is used for international trade and business, while the western port area is primarily used for fishing.
The main port in South Korea, Busan, handled about 21.82 million TEU in 2020.
It is an important maritime entry point for the country, connecting it to Pacific ports and significant Asian ports. Fertilizers, meat, metal, leather, oils, iron ore, wood, natural sand, sugars, petroleum, and coal are among the containerized cargo it transports.
In 2019, it handled more than 19.9 million TEUs of containers, making it a genuine competitor to its other Asian rivals in the years to come. The Busan port is made up of 6 container handling facilities, a facility for handling passengers, and 4 port areas.
7. Port of Hong Kong
The Kowloon Peninsula is not far from the Hong Kong harbor, which is a significant marine commerce center in Southeast Asia. With more than 20.07 million TEUs processed there in 2020, it is one of the busiest container handling facilities in the world. The Hong Kong Port handles over 89% of all the cargo that passes through Hong Kong.
The port is 279 hectares in size and has 24 berths with a combined length of 7694 meters. The port can handle about 45,000 vessels per year. Additionally, there are 9 container handling facilities with a combined yearly capacity of more than 19 million TEUs at the port. The port also has a variety of freight stations and container yards.
It offers first-rate port facilities, including shipyards for vessel repair and upkeep of all types and sizes. On the island of Ting Yi, there are three floating dry docks. For the foreign markets, smaller shipbuilding firms in the port are building specialized craft like patrol boats and recreational boats.
8. Port of Qingdao
The Chinese province of Shandong is where Qingdao Port is situated. It started operating in the late 18th century and is now a significant Asian port as well as the center of West Pacific trade. More than 22 million TEUs were processed at the Qingdao port in 2020. The port consists of four significant port areas: Qianwan, Dagang, Huangdao, and Dongjiakou.
18 operable berths in the Dagang port are reserved for traditional cargo like grains, steel products, aluminum oxide, and other goods. For processing containers, metals, coal, wood pulp, etc., the Qianwan port has 40 berths. With 11 oil berths, Huangdao port is a port for oil that can accommodate enormous oil tankers. Additionally, it deals with petroleum, its products, and crude oil. 17 berths are available in the Dongjiakou port to handle solid and bulk cargoes.
The port can accommodate the largest cargo carriers, iron ore vessels, and oil tankers and has top-notch stevedoring services. The port has partially automated container terminals and the most recent port operating system.
9. Port of Tianjin
The main port and an important hub for shipping and logistics in North China is Tianjin port. It is situated on the western shore of Bohai Bay and serves as the port entrance for Beijing. It is the ninth busiest port in the world and the largest artificial port facility in China. In 2020, it handled more than 18.35 million TEUs and connected to more than 600 ports in 190 countries via more than 120 container lines.
Tianjin port has a quay length of 34 km, a surface area of more than 120 km2, and more than 170 cargo ship berths. There are two passenger terminals and nine port regions, but only three of them, Beijiang, Nanjiang, and Dongjiang, are primarily used for commercial trade. It features two temporary anchorage places and six major anchorage areas.
In addition, it is linked directly to the Northeast and Mid-Asian areas as well as 13 Chinese provinces. The port, which is located in the special economic zone, handles both containerized and non-containerized cargo, including metals, ores, oil, gasoline, automobiles, steel products, grains, cereals, and coal.
10. Port of Jebel Ali
In Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, there is a deep port called the Port of Jebel Ali, also called Mina Jebel Ali. The tenth busiest port in the world, Jebel Ali is also the largest man-made harbor, the largest port in the Middle East, and the busiest port overall.
Rashid bin Saeed Al-Maktoum is credited with constructing Jebel Ali Port, which was finished in the late 1970s and inaugurated in 1979 in order to supplement the Port Rashid infrastructure.
The container yard at Port Jebel Ali spans more than one million square meters. Additionally, it has areas for medium- and long-term general cargo storage, including 12 covered sheds with a total area of 90.5 square meters and seven Dutch barns with a total area of nearly 19 thousand square meters. Additionally, Port Jebel Ali includes 960 000 square meters of open storage space.
11. Port of Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam, which is situated in and around the city of Rotterdam, in the Dutch province of South Holland, is the largest seaport in Europe and the largest seaport outside of East Asia. By annual cargo tonnage, it was the busiest port in the world from 1962 until 2004. The port of Singapore overtook it first in 2004; since then, Shanghai and other sizable Chinese seaports have surpassed it.
The port of Rotterdam, which was formerly 105 square kilometers (41 square miles) in size, has now expanded by 40 kilometers (25 mi). Within its borders, Rotterdam has five port concessions (ports) that are run by various businesses under the general control of Rotterdam. It is made up of three distribution parks and five separate port areas that serve a hinterland with more than 50,000,000 customers over the entire continent of Europe.
So, this was the list of the top 11 ports of the world with their major functionalities and details. Check out our other blogs to learn more about the marine industry!