The world’s busiest port is contested by several ports around the world, as there is as yet no standardized means of evaluating port performance and traffic. The former based its measurement on cargo tonnage handled (total weight of goods loaded and discharged), while the latter ranked in terms of shipping tonnage handled (total volume of ships handled). Since 2005, the Port of Shanghai has exceeded both ports to take the title in terms of total cargo tonnage.
Port of Shanghai
The Port of Shanghai, located in the vicinity of Shanghai, comprises a deep-sea port and a river port. In 2010, Shanghai port overtook Singapore port to become the world’s busiest container port. Shanghai’s port handled 29.05 million TEUs, whereas Singapore port was a half million TEU’s behind.
Port of Singapore
The Port of Singapore refers to the collective facilities and terminals that conduct maritime trade handling functions in Singapore’s harbours and which handle Singapore’s shipping. Currently the world’s busiest port in terms of total shipping tonnage, it also tranships a fifth of the world’s shipping containers as the world’s busiest container port, half of the world’s annual supply of crude oil, and is the world’s busiest transshipment port. It was also the busiest port in terms of total cargo tonnage handled until 2005, when it was surpassed by the Port of Shanghai. Thousands of ships drop anchor in the harbour, connecting the port to over 600 other ports in 123 countries and spread over six continents.
Port of Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands. From 1962 until 2004 it was the world’s busiest port, now overtaken by first Shanghai and then Singapore. In 2009, Rotterdam was the world’s tenth-largest container port in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled (2008: ninth, 2006: sixth). Covering 105 square kilometres (41 sq mi), the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40 kilometres (25 mi).
Port of Tianjin
The Port of Tianjin is the largest port in Northern China and the main maritime gateway to Beijing. It is located on the western shore of the Bohai Bay. It is the largest man-made port in mainland China and one of the largest in the world. It covers 107 square kilometers of land surface, with over 31.9 km of quay shoreline and 140 production berths at the end of 2010. Tianjin Port handled 413 million tonnes of cargo and 10.1 million TEU of containers in 2010, making it the fourth largest port by throughput tonnage in the planet, and the eleventh in container throughput.
Port of Ningbo
Port of Ningbo is one of the most important and busiest ports in mainland China. It is located on the rich coastal province of Zhejiang. The port is at the crossroad of the north-south shipping route and the important waterway of the Yangtze River. It is one of a growing number of ports in China with a cargo throughput volume exceeding 100 million tons annually. The Port of Ningbo has recently been merged with the neighbouring Port of Zhoushan to form a combined cargo-handling centre. The combined Ningbo-Zhoushan Port had a traffic of 627,000,000 tons of cargo in 2010, making it the second-largest port in the world (after Shanghai) in terms of cargo volume.