Top 30 Busiest Ports In The World

ports of world

With maritime freight responsible for an estimated 90 percent of global trade, and as the volumes of traded goods carried over by waves continue to grow, the world’s busiest ports are adapting to become more mega-vessel ready to meet the increasing demand. The busiest ports of the world are usually measured based on cargo tonnage and annual TEU (20-foot equivalent units).

Does your business trade internationally? If so, your freight most likely will be moved through one or more of the world’s busiest ports. CREDO TRANS would like to share insights into the world’s busiest gateways with you. Please follow our posts, as we regularly offer new information on our website and social media.

CREDO TRANS has been an active player in waterborne transportation since 2010. Our company moves goods on various waterway routes using the facilities of Novorossiysk, Ust-Luga, Bronka, Saint Petersburg, and Vladivostok ports.

Ranking The World’s Busiest Shipping Ports

Ports process a variety of traffic other than containerized cargoes. There are numerous methods to measure port traffic. Since 2015, the AAPA-developed “World Port Rankings” is used to categorize the world’s top 100 ports based on container traffic and cargo tonnage. The volume handled by a port is generally estimated in TEU, a rough unit of cargo capacity, and is based on the dimensions of a 20-foot-long shipping container. 1000 TEU is used to calculate the annual throughput of larger ports.

The busiest 50 ports as ranked in 2018 represent more than 25 nations and demonstrate the global nature of the liner trade business. As the major exporter of the merchandise transported on container services, Shanghai emerged as number one in the world’s top-50. Singapore still ranks second mostly because it is an important hub to transfer containers for on-carriage to their final destination.

The lists of ports are typically arranged by sub-region or nation, shipping volume, by sea or ocean, by purpose (for example, the Port of Miami tops the list of the global leading cruise ports), and by other measures.

In this article, we bring to you the list of the world’s leading 10 ports measured by TEU, followed by a more exhaustive list of the top-30 ports organized by continents. CREDO TRANS’ team of experts has prepared a rundown on Russia’s busiest ports for you as well.

World’s Top 10 Busiest and Largest Ports

According to the most recent data provided by the World Shipping Council, the world’s top 10 ports are:

●  Port of Shanghai

●  Port of Singapore

●  Port of Shenzhen

●  Port of Ningbo

●  Port of Guangzhou

●  Port of Busan

●  Port of Hong Kong

●  Port of Qingdao

●  Port of Tianjin

●  Port of Jebel Ali

World’s Top 30 Busiest Ports by Continent

10 Busiest Ports in the US and North America

The U.S. is the biggest economy and trading nation in the world and as such, exports more than any nation and mainly due to the developed port industry. 

The list below brings to you the top 10 ports in North America, with port traffic measured in TEU.

1. Port of LA, or America’s Port, is located on the US Pacific West Coast. 9.3 mln TEU in 2020. America’s Port plays a leading role in transpacific trade, connecting two global powerhouses, the US and China. It occupies 8,000 acres.

2. Port of Long Beach, located close to the Port of LA, is the nation’s second-busiest. A gateway to trade with the countries of the Pacific Rim.

3. Port of New York and New Jersey, with 3.8 million TEU, is the East Coast’s biggest port. It encompasses diversified port facilities situated along with NY and NJ’s largest waterways.

4. Ports of Georgia (Brunswick and Savannah). The ports house the fastest growing container terminal in America. Primary goods: heavy machinery, automobiles, agricultural products.

5. The Seaport Alliance, comprising jointly Ports of Seattle and Tacoma provides convenient trade links with the fastest economies in the Pacific. Primary exports: machinery, oilseeds, grains, computers.

6. Port of Vancouver, Canada, is the nation’s key trading gateway. An intricate network of railroads and interstate freeways. Spreads over 3700 acres. 25 major terminals.

7. Port of Virginia comprises multiple facilities centered on the harbor of Hampton Road, US East Coast. With multinationals like Amazon and Nestlé moving headquarters to the state of Virginia, it can only get busier. 5 major terminals.

8. Port of Houston is a complex of multiple port facilities located along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Houston’s petrochemical complex is one of the largest in the world.

9. South Carolina Ports, formed by the ports of Georgetown and Charleston jointly, handle international trade worth more than an annual $75 bn. The port facilitates containerized and non-containerized freight and manages cruise liners.

10. Port of Oakland is situated in San Francisco Bay. It handles more than 99% of the containerized cargo moved through Northern California.

10 Busiest Ports in Europe

Currently, 90 percent of Europe’s trade moves through more than 1,200 seaports in the 23 maritime EU member states.

Top 10 ports of Europe:

1. Port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, is by far Europe’s major deep-water port. Situated in the delta of the Rhine and Meuse rivers, on the area of 100 sq. km, with an extension of just under 40 km. It has a throughput of 14.5 mln TEU yearly. Considered the world’s ‘smartest port’.

2. Port of Antwerp, Belgium, is Europe’s second most important. Conveniently linked to the pan-European canal and river network. Located at the intersection of Europe’s main rail corridors.

3. Port of Hamburg, Germany, carries 8.7 mln TEU annually.  Provides intermodal transportation and commerce. Critically important for Europe’s domestic markets.

4. Port of Bremerhaven, Germany, is located in the NW of Germany. 90 hectares is the port’s operating area. Admirable location for interregional travel and tourism.

5. Port of Valencia is a landmark in Spanish trade. Valencia port specializes in the traffic of containerized freight. It manages regular passenger traffic as well, receiving a large annual number of cruise liners.

6. Port of Piraeus, Greece’s major maritime hub, is located in the SW part of Athens. It has access to the Balkans and the Black Sea. Europe’s leading passenger port, accommodating 20 mln passengers yearly.

7. Port of Algeciras is located in Cádiz, Spain. Algeciras handles the nation’s busiest trade and tourist influx. A major passenger and a fishing port in Europe.

8. Port of Gioia Tauro is the largest in Italy by the volume container throughput. Located in Calabria. The port’s major advantage is the natural deep water (up to 18 m).

9. Port of Felixstowe, UK. It handles more than 14 mln TEU annually. Offers some of the deepest waters.

10. Port of Barcelona is one of the Mediterranean major ports. It is Spain’s third and Europe’s tenth largest container port. 3.42 million TEU in 2018.

10 Busiest Ports in Asia

Over the last decades, China has emerged as the global economic engine and is home to some of the world’s biggest ports.

Top 10 ports in Asia:

1. Port of Shanghai, a large-port megacity in China, is the world’s busiest port in terms of container traffic and cargo tonnage. Shanghai is located in the center of the Chinese coastline. The terminals extend 3,619 sq. km along the Yangtze River. 42 million TEU in container throughput in 2018.

2. Port of Singapore, with 30.9 mln TEU in 2016, is currently ranked the world’s second-busiest owing to its size and the total cargo tonnage. It has about 200 shipping lines. Located on the Malay Peninsula.

3. Port of Laem Chabang in Thailand is the deep-water central seaport, with a yearly traffic of 8 million TEU. Laem Chabang is collectively composed of 7 terminals and minor ports.

4. Port of Busan is located on the Korean Peninsula. It connects to the mainland by the drawbridge, with the west side focusing on fishing and the east on trade. The major port in Korea, with 19.4 mln TEU in 2016.

5. Port of Hong Kong a deepwater port. Formerly the world’s busiest gateway. 9 container terminals located by the South China Sea. 19.8 mln TEU in 2016.

6. Port of Kelang. Malaysia’s leading ocean hub, situated on the Malay Peninsula, 38 km SW of Kuala Lumpur. Considered the world’s top metal and aluminum exchange.

7. Port of Tokyo is one of the largest ports of Japan and the Pacific Ocean basin. Has the ability to house the biggest vessels. Annual traffic capacity: 4.5 mln TEU and around 100 mln tons of cargo.

8. Jawaharlal Nehru Port, the major port in India, is located east of Mumbai. 5.05 million TEU in 2019.

9. Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia, has been recognized as the most technologically advanced port. The major competitor of the Port of Singapore. 12 mln TEU in annual container traffic.

10. Port of Shenzhen is located on the Kowloon Peninsula. It primarily serves as a base for trade around the delta of the Pearl River. 27.7 mln TEU in 2018.

Russia’s Busiest Ports

The below is just a snapshot of Russia’s ports. Considering the volume of trade Russia conducts annually, the ports are vital to the nation’s steady development.

1. Novorossiysk, the deep-water port on the Black Sea, southern Russia, became the nation’s leading port in terms of cargo throughput with 142 mln tons in 2020. It is the nation’s biggest gateway and the major grain-exporting facility.

2. Ust-Luga Port on the Gulf of Finland, 130 km SW of Saint Petersburg, is the nation’s second-busiest. Considered Russia’s important coal and fertilizer exchange. An estimated 103 mln tons of cargo in 2020. It is a modern deepwater port, consisting of six terminals.

3. Vladivostok Port is of the main transport hubs in the Far East of Russia, which plays an important role in international transportation in the Asia-Pacific region. Vladivostok is an intermodal warm-water container port. Ice-free even in the most severe winters.

CREDO TRANS: Shipping Solutions Through Global Seaports

CREDO TRANS offers efficient freight liner shipping solutions to major ports worldwide. Since 2008, our company has been an active maritime transportation operator with a sophisticated logistics system that facilitates the supply chain movement for your business through the ports without a hitch. CREDO TRANS carries out maritime transportation of products on 27 routes using the resources of Novorossiysk, Ust-Luga, and Saint Petersburg ports. We have built flexible and profitable freight liner shipping partnerships with leading corporations, such as MAERSK, China Shipping, COSCO, Evergreen, CMA, OOCL, MSC, APL.

To learn more about our maritime services, ask for a quote now. We can address any questions you might have concerning your maritime shipment.

CREDO TRANS: Working With the World’s Busiest Ports

CREDO TRANS works with the global busiest seaports and major terminals. Our company has access to an intricate and extensive network of the leading ports and internal waterways of the Russian Federation. With our maritime transport logistics in place, we create value for our customers by arranging the movement of goods with the greatest efficiency and profit.

CREDO TRANS dedicates itself to getting your freight moved via ocean or sea, optimizing routes for you, providing alternative routes if necessary, and booking the most cost-effective vessels. Our team of professionals will negotiate port rates on your behalf and ensure paperwork.