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Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

Would you like to know which are the busiest shipping ports in the world? Located all around the world, these harbors must be able to manage not only the incoming traffic of ships, but also the vast amounts of containers they bring along for the watery ride. This involves a great deal of organization, competent port authorities, extensive regulations and controls, as well as a solid infrastructure that can deal with the heavy traffic. Thus, it would not be far-fetched to suggest that the busiest shipping ports in the world are also some of the best, since they are bound to unite several important characteristics. After all, one wouldn’t picture old and run-down harbors as the backbone of global trade.

MSC Container Ship

As you might have seen in one of our previous posts regarding the ocean’s 10 biggest shipping companies, the transportation of goods is a major part of our world economy. This comes as little surprise, considering globalization has led to a sharp increase in foreign trade over the past few decades. Hence, making it onto the list of the busiest shipping ports in the world is no easy task, especially since so many different factors are at play. Certain harbors can have a great infrastructure, yet if the country it is located in is suffering economically, there is nothing a port can do to increase traffic. Hence, a stable local economy with ties to international trade is a must if a port wishes to grow in size and see its business increase regularly.

So how does one measure how busy a shipping port is? Well, there are actually many methods that can be applied, such the gross weight of goods processed or the square footage of the harbor. For our list, we decided to look at the total amount of merchandise that goes through each port, using twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) as our tool of measurement.

Considering all the facts mentioned above, one can almost guess where the busiest shipping ports in the world are broadly located. Where exactly one can find them and the amount of traffic they see every year however is our specific task, which we hope you will find of interest. So without any further ado, here is the list you have been waiting for.

10. Port of Tianjin – 13 million TEUs

When goods are headed to Beijing by water, they most likely go through the Port of Tianjin, the largest of its kind in Northern China. Despite being a relatively new harbor, Tianjin has expanded at an insane pace.

The first of the ten busiest shipping ports in the world has been revealed, and there are nine left to go. Check them out on the next pages.

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