The world’s oceans have long been the lifeblood of global trade, facilitating the movement of goods and connecting nations. Ports play a crucial role in this intricate web of commerce, serving as hubs where ships load and unload cargo. As global trade continues to expand, the significance of ports becomes even more pronounced. Here, we delve into the top 10 biggest ports in the world, each a testament to the scale and complexity of maritime activities.
Which Country has the World’s Largest Shipping Ports?
In the realm of global shipping ports, the measurement criteria often revolve around the total number of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) – a standard unit for cargo capacity. Using this yardstick, China emerges as a dominant force, boasting an impressive presence with four out of the top five largest ports globally and an overwhelming seven out of the top ten. This underscores China’s status as an industrial powerhouse, as its ports and cargo-handling capabilities mirror the sheer scale of its industrial and economic activities. In essence, when it comes to the world’s largest shipping ports, China stands out as a formidable player, exemplifying its influence on the maritime trade landscape.
Largest Port in the World
Situated along the banks of the Yangtze River in the eastern part of China, the Port of Shanghai stands as the globe’s most extensive and active seaport, particularly in terms of container volume and maritime traffic. Boasting a rich history spanning over 180 years, it officially claimed the title of the world’s largest port in 2010, surpassing Singapore. Since then, it has consistently demonstrated a remarkable upward trajectory, solidifying its status as an unrivaled maritime hub.
The Port of Shanghai encompasses a vast infrastructure, featuring an impressive array of 19 terminals and 125 piers. Monthly, it plays host to over 2,000 container ships, illustrating the sheer scale and efficiency of its operations. Notably, this port holds a pivotal role in driving 26% of China’s international trade, underscoring its significance as a cornerstone of the nation’s global economic connectivity.
Top-10 Biggest Ports in the World
Port of Shanghai, located in China with an area of 88,832 acres, holds the title of the biggest port in the world, followed by Port of Singapore, Port of Ningbo/ Ningbo-Zhoushan and Port of Shenzhen.
Here is the list of top-10 biggest ports in the world:
|Biggest Ports in the World
|Area (in acre)
|Port of Shanghai
|Port of Singapore
|Port of Ningbo/Ningbo-Zhoushan
|Port of Shenzhen
|3,953 (land), 26,193 (water)
|Port of Guangzhou
|Port of Qingdao
|Port of Busan
|Port of Hong Kong
|Port of Tianjin
|Port of Rotterdam
World’s Biggest Port – Port of Shanghai
Area: 88,832 acres
Tons of Freight: 47.03 million
The Port of Shanghai, the world’s largest, handled a remarkable 47.03 million TEU containers in 2021, a 3.5 million increase from the previous year. Nestled along the East China Sea, it boasts a robust transportation network encompassing the Yangtze River and coastal channels. Beyond its sheer scale, it made industry history by becoming one of the first Chinese ports to go public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2006.
World’s Second Largest Port – Port of Singapore
Area: 1,482.63 acres
Tons of Freight: 578.22 million
Ranked second globally, the Port of Singapore handled an impressive 37.49 million TEUs in 2021, with a substantial annual capacity nearing 50 million TEUs across its 53 berths. Operating from terminals in strategic locations like Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, and Jurong, it extends its influence worldwide through the PSA International port group, connecting Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Notably, it stands out as one of the world’s leading refrigerated container ports, accommodating over 12,000 reefers annually.
Third Biggest Port in the World – Port of Ningbo/ Ningbo-Zhoushan
Area: 1,902.71 acres
Tons of Freight: 888.96 million
Ranking third globally, the Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, formed after a merger, recorded a cargo volume of 31.07 million TEUs in 2021. Positioned along China’s mainland coast, it enjoys strategic access to the Silk Road Economic Belt and waterways like the Yangtze River Delta, connecting with over 600 ports in 100 countries. Renowned for handling raw materials like iron ore and crude oil, this prestigious port has earned accolades, including being listed among the Top 500 Chinese Enterprises and China’s Top Ten Influential Brands in the Port Industry.