When it comes to having the world’s largest ports, Southeast Asia completely dominates the realm. Each of them is truly a city within a city, and these enormous ports give us a hint of how the world’s logistical processes work. Moving goods from one place to another is the engine that powers the world’s economy since the beginning of time. Let’s learn more about these ports from smallest to largest:
5. Busan (South Korea)
With an annual traffic volume of over 13 million containers, Busan’s handling capacity exceeds 36,000 containers per day. And it’s only in fifth place! Busan is a strategic location for ocean transportation across South Korea, with routes to the east and the west, enabling easy access in either direction. It has frequent communication with Japan, whose proximity helps Busan inch closer and closer to becoming a world leader in technology assembly.
4. Hong Kong (China)
You’re probably thinking: if Hong Kong is only in fourth place, what will be next? When we think of Hong Kong, we imagine skyscrapers and enormous cargo ports. It is not surprising to learn that this maritime port is one of the largest in the world. Since Hong Kong’s sovereignty was transferred from the United Kingdom to China in 1997, its growth has risen to sky-high new levels and placed it in the limelight as one of the world’s most famous and largest ports. More than 24 million containers are handled each year in Hong Kong. That is double the volume of the previous port on the list (Busan, South Korea).
3. Shenzhen (China)
This Chinese city may not be well-known to someone who isn’t familiar with the world of international transportation, but we can assure you that it is one of the largest ports in the world in terms of logistical infrastructure. Shenzhen has been growing for many years in Hong Kong’s shadow, and it has even exceeded its handling volume at nearly 25 million containers per year. Shenzhen is the world’s fifth densest city, with 15 million inhabitants working in the logistics industry in some form.
This city-state is the only one in the world on an island, making the port of Singapore not only a by-product of Asia’s growth, but also a necessity for relations with the continent. Singapore is the world’s second largest maritime port, with over 32 million containers handled per year. The country enjoys one of the highest levels of GDP per capita in the world. Logistics has a direct impact on Singapore’s economy, as we can see by its inhabitants’ standard of living. Singapore is also considered one of the world’s safest countries, and so its cargo port brings prosperity and safety.
China is credited for the invention of gunpowder, so it should come as no surprise that many of its cities have seen a true explosion in terms of population and logistics. Shanghai has adeptly ridden this wave of expansion, and today it is number one in the world for logistics operations and infrastructure size. In addition to being the main port to the Pacific, Shanghai is located at the confluence of the Yangtze, Huangpu, and Qiantang Rivers, whose many tributaries are also navigable. Its total of more than 35 million containers handled per year (nearly 100,000 per day) make this port the true leader of logistics in Asia and the world in general.
What did you think of our list of the world’s five largest ports? Which ports would you add to the list? We have a presence throughout Southeast Asia through our sister company Betalink, which is our representative in China and the USA. Want to learn more?