Years of economic development have allowed China to come up as one of the pioneers in the international container shipping industry. A well-connected network of ports has yielded several economic advantages for China. It has given Beijing greater control over the global maritime trade in general. The authorities in China are presently boosting the connectivity of the country with a special focus on improving the port infrastructure.
The importance of the container shipping industry in China
The quick rise of the Chinese economy on the world stage is mainly because of the constant rise in exports in the last few decades. Container ships move more than 80% of international shipments. This is why China has come up with a plan for export oriented economic growth. In other words, the Chinese government is investing in boosting the port infrastructure of the country that is responsible for the bulk of Chinese international trade.
China’s great performance in the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, is largely because of its ability to handle high container throughput. Before the pandemic, ports in China handled 242 million TEUs worth of cargo. This number is four times greater than the US throughput that was estimated at 5.5 million TEUs in 2019. China is considerably investing in enhancing the infrastructure of the ports and integrating them with the shipping routes of the established carriers. Additionally, many of the ports in China rank among the most connected ports on the planet.
As one of the leading maritime powers in the world, China has access to 14,500 Km of coastline. Although nations like Russia and Canada also have access to long stretches of shoreline, China has one significant advantage over them. Vessels can access the Chinese coast all around the year. Moreover, several of the most populated economic nerve centres of China are located on its eastern coast. This makes it all the more logical for the authorities to invest in the development of the ports. The Chinese government seeks to develop ports so as to enable them to feed China’s ever-increasing demand for raw materials and aid the export oriented financial development.
List of the top Chinese Ports in 2022
This country is home to 34 major ports and 2000 minor ports. A large number of these ports play a vital role in the global movement of goods. Moreover, the 158 ports on the eastern and southern shorelines of China play a crucial role in international commercial activities.
Port of Shanghai
This port which is over 170 years old is not only the largest Chinese port but also the largest port in the globe. In 2010 Shanghai Port surpassed the ranking of Port of Singapore to emerge as the busiest international port. This deep-sea and riverine port is considered as one of the four large port megacities on the planet. The Yangshan Port which is a part of the network of Shanghai Port is one of the busiest hubs of the Chinese container shipping industry. Shanghai Port has received the prestigious accolade of ‘Best Connected Port’ from UNCTAD. There are several smaller ports close to Shanghai that allow for better handling of container traffic.
Port of Shenzhen
The second largest port of China- The Port of Shenzhen is also the 3rd largest port globally in terms of the number of cargoes handled. This feeder port has been serving more than 50 shipping lines and around 10,000 container ships per year. Its sister port is the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain. The Shenzhen port comes with several zones designated for several types of cargoes. This port houses the headquarters of almost 40 shipping companies. Most importantly, these companies have launched around 130 international container lines. This port comes with more than 100 warehouse operators and over 2,000 logistics firms located on the premises. With a coastline of over 250 km, this port is a part of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor. This makes it one of the most well-connected docks in the country.
The Ningbo Zhoushan Port that moves over 1 billion tonnes of cargo per year is hands down the busiest port of the planet for shipments. Located across Shanghai on the Hangzhou Bay the Ningbo Zhoushan Port is well connected to the Chinese hinterlands. This port is linked to 560 ports across 90 countries. It comes with a terminal dedicated to the processing of crude oil which can handle tankers over 250,000 tonnes. Additionally, it has a separate terminal for liquid chemicals and the largest yard for handling ore. Its storage capacity of 4.1 million tonnes and its proximity to the Zhejiang Free Trade Zones make it one of the most important ports in Asia.
Port of Guangzhou
This port that dates back to 221 BC used to be the 5th largest container port in the world before the pandemic. Located on the Pearl River Delta this port is connected to 300 ports in 80 countries. The Guangzhou Port comes with 2,400 anchorage points and more than 4,500 berths. Moreover, it has huge warehousing spaces, logistics facilities, and customs checkpoints. This port is mostly responsible for moving agricultural and edible items, fertilizers, car parts, steel and machineries. The authorities are presently working on expanding the capacity of this port. In a few years, the Guangzhou Port will be able to handle ships over 100,000 deadweight tonnes.
Port of Qingdao
One of the most important ports in eastern China, the Port of Qingdao is the 8th busiest port globally in terms of traffic. This port mainly handles cargo ships to/from Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the USA. The Qingdao port is connected with more than 450 ports in 130 countries. The 4 zones of Qingdao Port serve as autonomous ports. These four zones are- Dagang and Qianwan port area, Guangdong port area, and Dongjiakou port area. The Dagang and Qianwan port area are mainly used for handling containers while the Guangdong and Dongjiakou port areas are used for handling oil tankers and iron ore respectively. Moreover, this port is connected with the ports at Weihai, Rizhao, Yantai, and the Busan port to create an Asian logistics hub.