The handling capacity of ports is measured in terms of TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units). Based on this unit of calculation, we have rated 10 ship ports as the biggest ports in the world. Incidentally, a majority of these rated marine ports come under the Asian continent and on further narrowing of this statistic, mostly emerge from a single country – China.
It is to note that the list of largest ports in the world is subject to constant alteration. This is mainly because of the development taking place in each and every country across the globe, with respect to marine cargo transportation and commercial networking. China is the frontrunner in this race to have a stronghold in the marine ports’ sector and this competitive spirit of the Asian super-power is clearly being seen in the below compilation.
Detailed below is the list of the 10 marine ports rated as the busiest and the largest:
1. Shanghai (China): Having a total of five working areas, the port of Shanghai became the biggest port in the world, surpassing the port of Singapore. That year alone, around 29 million TEUs were handled by the port of Shanghai which has both – a sea as well as a river port. The port of Shanghai is a source of great economic activity in the Yangtze River area which has helped further the economic status of regions like Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Henan.
2.Ningbo-Zhoushan (China): Formed as a collaborative venture between the Ningbo port and the Zhoushan port in the year 2006, the Ningbo-Zhoushan port is the second-largest marine port in the world. Catering to three rivers – the Yangtze, the Yong and the Qaintang, the port is expected to have a huge boost in the form of the construction of a new terminal – the Jintang Dapukuo, consisting of five berths which are expected to be completed by the year 2014.
3.Singapore (Singapore): Once rated as the world’s largest port, the port of Singapore has slipped a couple of places and is now ranked third in the same category. From the Singaporean economic perspective, the port of Singapore plays a very important role as it caters to the re-export market on a mammoth scale. The Singapore port is connected to over 600 ports spread around more than a 100 countries. In terms of its handling, the ship port handles a fifth of the global cargo containers and is responsible for the transit of nearly 50% of the global crude oil supply.
4.Rotterdam (The Netherlands): The only European marine port listed, the Rotterdam port is ranked fourth in the list of biggest marine ports in the world. It also served as the largest port in the world for 42-years between 1962 and 2004 before it was surpassed by Singapore and Shanghai, in that order. The Rotterdam port is the largest port in the whole of Europe.
5.Tianjin (China): Situated at the River Haihe, the Tianjin port in China is ranked fifth in the list of biggest ports in the world. At present it is connected to over 400 ports in nearly 200 countries across the world, a figure which is expected to rise by the next four years. The Tianjin port is the third largest port in China and the single-largest port in the Northern part of the country.
6.Guangzhou (China): The largest port in Southern China, the Guangzhou port enjoys connectivity with more than 300 ports in almost 100 countries. The port forms the mainstay for the industrial belt found in the Guangxi, Yunnan, Hunan and Jiangxi regions. The port of Huangpu also forms a part of the Guangzhou port.
7. Qingdao (China): Adjoining the Yellow Sea and located at the Shandong Peninsula, the Qingdao port is ranked seventh in the list of 10 biggest ship ports. Facing Japan and South Korea, the world leaders in the shipbuilding business, the Qingdao port is a natural harbour and has connectivity with over 450 ports in over 130 countries.
8. Qinhuangdao Port (China): Operational for nearly three decades, the Qinhuangdao port is mainly known for its coal transportation in the country. Statistically at present, the port is the biggest coal lading port globally and internally, accounts for nearly 50% of the country’s coal transportation between the North and the South.
9. Hong Kong (China): Ranked ninth in the list of the largest marine ports in the world, the Hong Kong port is situated in the South China Sea. A natural harbour, the Hong Kong port has been very instrumental in the economic furtherance of the city of Hong Kong. In the year 2010, the port accounted for 23.7 million TEUs worth of container cargo.
10. Busan (South Korea): The Port of Busan, also known as Pusan, doubles as South Korea’s largest port and its second-largest city. The 10th biggest port in the world, the port of Busan is situated at the Naktong River and forms a major commercial getaway between the Pacific Ocean and the countries belonging to Eurasia.
The Busan Port Authorities are expected to unveil a new port by the name of New Busan Port to provide a further ease in the operations of the port of Pusan. The construction of the new port is stipulated to be completed by 2015.
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References: geohive, metso, busan.go, shippingchina, chinaportsl, asiatradehub, worldportsource