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Shipping: The five biggest ports in the world

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The romantic idea of a small little harbor, where boats and ships anchor at the port and old fishermen, marked by the weather and life on sea selling fish to those on the land shore, is not in any kind realistic when it comes to industrial production in modern times. Instead, the harbor is mostly a huge and busy place. Containers are stacked up until the sky, workers running around, only to be spotted as those little figures with yellow hats, machines buzzing, cranes swing heavy weights meters above the ground. It smells like seawater, fish and gas, mixed with other industrial odors.  

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On a worldwide scale the biggest harbors are all located in Asian countries. This is measured by the number of containers that are passing through the harbor, which is specified in the unit of one million TEU. TEU stand for Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit. In the following we will take a look on the five biggest harbors in the world, their number of containers and special notes. 

Number 5: Guangzhou, China

Located in the South of China, Guangzhou is one of the biggest metropolitan regions in the world. It is also called as the “factory of the world”, because of his importance on the industrial and trading market. The landmark of the city is a statue of five goats. Besides that, Guangzhou also has the fifth biggest harbor in the world when it comes to shipping. In 2020 this harbor managed to handle 23,2 million TEU, which is the same total as 2019.

Number 4: Shenzhen, China

The Chinese city Shenzhen is at the border of Hongkong. It is an important place for foreign investors because of its status as a special economic zone. The city is one of the worlds fastest to grow. Its harbor was able to continuously increase its handling since 2014 and because of that, raised to the fourth biggest in the world. In 2020 it handled 26,5 million TEU.

Number 3: Ningbo-Zoushan, China

Again in China is also the third biggest harbor of the world. However, this one emerged because of a fusion in 2006, were the Chinese government decided to melt the harbors of Ningbo and Zoushan. It is located in the East of China. In 2020 it handled 28,72 million TEUs and it has shipping links with 600 ports across 150 countries.

Number 2: Singapore Port, Singapore

The second biggest harbor in the world is the only one in the top five that is not located in China. However, it is still on the Asian continent: Singapore. The Singapore Port handled 36,8 million TEUS in 2020 and it offers a big variety of all needed services to national and international customers, such as ship repairs and maintenance, cold storage facilities, container washing. Also many providers of LCL freight forwarder are shipping to this harbor.

Number 1: Shanghai Port, China

The biggest harbor in the world is – who would have guessed – located in China again. The Shanghai Port at the East coast tops the list with a handling of 43,5 million TEUs in 2020 and is also regarded as the world’s most rapidly growing economy. 

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