Biggest Shipping Port

The world’s biggest shipping port is the Port of Shanghai. In 2010, the port handled 29.05 million TEUs. It surpassed the port of Singapore by half a mullion TEUs. The Shanghai port moved 590 million tons in 2009.

General Information

The port is a vital transport hub. It is particularly important for the Yangtze River region. It is crucial for foreign trade as well. It also serves the Henan, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. Geographically, the east side faces East China Sea. To the south is Hangzhou Bay. The heads of Qiantang, Yangtze and Huangpu river are included.

The port is handled by the Shanghai International Port. This replaced the Shanghai Port Authority back in 2003.


The history of the world’s biggest shipping port began sometime during the Ming Dynasty. Because it is situated at the mouth of the Yangtze River, it became a coastal trade center. Slowly, the port would surpass the ports of Guangzhou and Ningbo in importance and size.

The Shanghai port became a treaty port in 1842. It would become an international commercial city. By the beginning of the 20th century, it had become the Far East’s biggest port.

The Communist takeover in 1949 led to the reduction of international trade. This would cripple the city’s infrastructure. Economic reforms reinvigorated the city in 1991. By 2005, the Yangshan deep water port was joined to the city.

Harbor Zones

There are five major zones in the port: the Pudong coastline at East China Sea, the Yangshan deep water port, Waigaoqiao, Huangpu River and the Yangtze River estuary.

Other Claims

The title of the world’s busiest world is contested by numerous ports. Before the Shanghai Port’s emergence, the title was contested by the ports of Rotterdam and Singapore. The Rotterdam port based their claim by the total weight of goods discharged and loaded.

The Singapore port based their claim on the total shipping tonnage being handled. The Rotterdam port was the busiest before the Shanghai port overtook it in 2004. The Singapore port also surpassed Rotterdam in 1986 in terms of shipping tonnage.

The Singapore port was considered the busiest for the years 1990, 1991, 1998, 2005 and 2006. From 1973-78, the busiest was Port of Kobe.

Shanghai’s status as the world’s biggest shipping port is based on cargo tonnage. However, the cargo being handled by ports can change. The state of a country’s economy will play a role in determining how big or busy it will be.

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