The value of Cosmetic industry in Italy and the export forecast for 202316 Maggio 2023
The New Wave of Container Ships: Bigger and More Sustainable?5 Giugno 2023
The war in Ukraine has had unprecedented impacts on world trade, and ports worldwide have also been significantly affected. Consequently, it is crucial to reassess the rankings of the busiest ports globally. The top 20 ports in 2022 included Shanghai, Singapore, Ningbo, Zhoushan, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Busan, Tianjin, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Hong Kong, Rotterdam, Dubai, Antwerp, Port Klang, Xiamen, Tanjung Pelepas, New York/New Jersey, Kaohsiung, Laem Chabang, and Hamburg. The top 10 busiest ports in the world for the year 2023 are the Port of Shanghai, Port of Singapore, Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, Port of Shenzhen, Port of Guangzhou, Port of Busan, Port of Qingdao, Port of Hong Kong, Port of Tianjin, and Port of Rotterdam.
According to Alphaliner ranking of global container ports for the first half of 2022 – that sheds light on major market trends – among the 20 largest container ports surveyed, 9 are located in China. Notably, Ningbo Zhoushan Port experienced an 8.8% increase in container traffic during the first half of the year, closing in on Singapore’s position as the second-largest port. Despite the significant impact of the pandemic, the Port of Shanghai maintains its top-ranking position globally. The top 30 global ports witnessed a modest 1% increase in traffic, reaching a total of 454 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units). This growth rate is considerably lower than the 6.2% increase observed in 2021, which was a year of recovery following the Covid-19 crisis.
Outside of China, most ports are experiencing a decline in both Asia (Singapore, Busan, Hong Kong, Port Kelang, Tanjung, etc.) and Europe (Rotterdam, Antwerp-Bruges, and Hamburg). Rotterdam, despite a 5.8% decrease, maintains its position at number 11.
The performance of Chinese ports
The performance of Chinese ports remains noteworthy. Ningbo Zhoushan Port, China’s second-largest container port, witnessed an 8.8% increase in traffic, reaching 17.48 million TEUs during the first half of 2022, closely approaching Singapore’s figure of 18.407 million TEUs. Notably, Ningbo Zhoushan Port even surpassed Singapore in the second quarter. Despite Covid-19 restrictions, volumes at China’s top 10 ports reached a new record of 222 million TEUs, representing a 4.1% increase compared to 2021 (6.2% in 2021). This overall growth can be attributed to the favorable dynamics of the Chinese economy in the early part of the year.
During the same period in 2021, the gap between Ningbo Zhoushan and Singapore was 2.7 million TEUs. Prior to the outbreak, the gap was approximately 4 million TEUs. Lockdown measures in Shanghai during the first half of this year led to the diversion of some goods to the nearby port of Ningbo Zhoushan. In May 2022, for instance, due to cargo diversion from Shanghai, Ningbo Zhoushan Port reached a record-breaking traffic of 3.3 million TEUs, representing a year-on-year increase of 16%, surpassing Singapore’s data.
While Shanghai experienced a slight year-on-year decrease of 1.8% in overall traffic during the first half of 2022, it still maintains its top position with 22.54 million TEUs. The remarkable pace of Ningbo Zhoushan Port continues even after Shanghai fully reopened. In July 2022, Ningbo Zhoushan’s traffic reached an impressive 3.28 million TEUs, marking the fourth consecutive month with traffic surpassing the 3 million TEU mark.
The performance of European ports
Rotterdam remains ahead of its Belgian counterpart Antwerp, which has now merged with Zeebrugge, and the German port of Hamburg. These three major European ports have experienced a decline, with indicative volumes decreasing by 5.8%, 5.5%, and 5.4%, respectively. Nonetheless, the ports in the Northern Range continue to dominate the market and occupy the top three positions, accounting for approximately 56% of the total traffic in the ranking.
The performance of American ports
In the United States, West Coast ports have been heavily impacted by congestion, leading to disruptions in operations and a shift of activities to the East Coast. The East Coast ports of New York-New Jersey and Savannah are steadily increasing their market share against Los Angeles-Long Beach, benefitting from the expansion of the Panama Canal. Among the top 30 ports, these two East Coast ports recorded the largest increase compared to the baseline year of 2019 (prior to the global pandemic), with a 28% increase for Savannah and 27% for New York. However, when combining the results of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the California port complex remains the leading U.S. gateway by a significant margin.
At a glance
The 20 largest container ports in the world collectively handled around 194.8 million TEUs of containers during the first half of 2022, up from 192.6 million TEUs in the same period in 2021, indicating a 1.1% increase. Among these, eleven ports witnessed increased traffic (with China and the United States accounting for 7 of them), while 9 experienced a decrease. Although there were significant variations in growth rates among ports (ranging from -7.4% for Port Klang to +11.6% for New York/New Jersey), the overall ranking of the top 20 ports remained unchanged. Notably, despite the overall traffic increase, movements by major shipping companies such as Maersk, CMA CGM, COSCO, ONE, ZIM, and HMM decreased by approximately 5.5% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, totaling 50.9 million TEUs.
The data from ports and shipping companies appear contradictory. Alphaliner has explained that the higher transshipment activity may have skewed the growth data, as cargo redirected due to port congestion created an additional flow that does not necessarily reflect actual volume growth on specific trade routes.