Top 5 Shipping Centers in the World

Top Shipping Centers in the World

Have you been wondering where the top shipping centers are in the world? Shipping is a significant percentage of seaport traffic, particularly in areas with many manufacturing centers. But where is the world’s busiest transshipment hub?

In 2020, the pandemic impacted supply chains worldwide, and container scarcity in 2021 was the headline of many newspapers. The importance of ports has grown since globalization has developed, and import and export levels have gone up; you can read about top seaports worldwide and get updated on the industry. The top shipping centers in the world are listed below based on the number of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved through these ports annually.

Port of Singapore

Singapore’s Port is the world’s busiest container shipping center and the world’s largest publicly-owned port. The Port of Singapore is located on the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, 30 kilometers southwest of Malaysia’s Port of Johor, and connects to over 600 ports in 123 countries, with 130,000 vessels passing through each year.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is in charge of the port and its progress and expansion.

The Port of Singapore is the world’s number-one transshipment port and the first member of our list of top shipping centers, accounting for 20% of global transshipment volume. In 2021, it handled 37.5 million TEU or 599 million tonnes of cargo, making it the world’s second-busiest port for total TEU cargo.

The port authority is currently constructing Tuas Port Terminal, a primarily automated container terminal with a capacity of 65 million TEUs when completed in 2040. When finished, Tuas port is planned to be the world’s largest automated terminal.

The Port of Singapore is considered the best shipping center in the world since it’s using a new generation of technology to improve operating efficiency.” Other developments include remote-controlled vessel pilotage and a marine sense-making system to improve transport systems by avoiding illegal bunkering and optimizing anchorage use.

The Singapore port is home to over 1,000 ships at any given time. Ships come or depart Singapore every 2-3 minutes. The Port of Singapore is one of the significant top shipping centers in the world.

There are five free trade zones (FTZs) at the Port of Singapore: Jurong Port, Sembawang Wharves, Pasir Panjang Wharves, and Singapore Airport Logistics Park.

Port of Shanghai

The Port of Shanghai is the world’s largest port, with 45 million TEU handled in 2021, over half of which was transshipment volume.

Since 2010, when it surpassed the Port of Singapore as the world’s busiest port, it has been its busiest port. It has achieved its cargo handling target of 45 million TEUs a year.

Shanghai’s port is China’s most important economic and financial hub and has been named the world’s fastest-growing shipping center. Shanghai’s port competes with Hong Kong as the Chinese mainland’s commercial hub, although Shanghai has greater connections to mainland of China and the central government.

Shanghai port is the world’s largest seaport. Since its establishment in 1842, it has developed into one of the region’s most significant ports. The port covers nearly 4 km2 of land.

Shanghai International Port Co. is in charge of the port of Shanghai. Shanghai Municipal Government owns 44.23 percent of Shanghai International Port Co.’s shares, making it a public enterprise.

The Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port, officially opened in 2017, is the world’s largest automated container port.

Port of Shenzhen

In 2021, the Port of Shenzhen handled 28.77 million TEU, with an 8.4 percent increase, compared to the previous year. 

There are two anchors in the Shenzhen port. Anchor No. 1 is 246,300 square meters and has a water depth of 10 meters; Anchor No. 2 is 460,800 square meters in size and has a water depth of 9 meters. Shenzhen Port is located in Guangdong Province, south of the Pearl River Delta.

Yantian Port, Nanshan Port, and Dachan Bay Port are the “three main ports” that specialize in container shipping and highlight Shenzhen Port’s core strength as an essential shipping center worldwide.

Many of the world’s greatest technical companies, such as Huawei, are headquartered in the greater metropolitan area, making it a significant tech hub.

Port of Busan

The Port of Busan handles around 9 million TEU of transshipment goods each year, with a total of 22.7 million TEU, making it the world’s fifth busiest port.

Dongbu Corporation Global Enterprise Limited manages the Central Port in Busan Port. 

Busan’s feeder network has allowed it to connect to ports in Russia, China, and Japan, and its transshipment incentives have allowed it to receive larger cargo volumes.

The Port of Busan is located in the city of Busan, South Korea, and is its biggest port. It is the world’s fifth-busiest container port and North East Asia’s most significant shipping center.

It announced a proposal in November 2020 to invest in innovative technology to raise its capacity to 32 million by 2030.

Port of Hong Kong

The Port of Hong Kong handles over five million TEU of transshipped products each year and 17.80 million TEU in total in 2021, making it the world’s ninth busiest port.

You may be wondering if Hong Kong port is part of China; the Port of Hong Kong, located on the South China Sea, is a deepwater shipping center focused on the transshipment of containerized manufactured goods, raw materials, and passengers.

Hong Kong Port provides significant repair, maintenance, and dry-docking capabilities for various ships. Tsing Yi Island’s west shore is home to three floating dry docks.

Hong Kong, formerly the world’s busiest port, has been left behind by China’s industrial and export growth.

The Final Word

To find more about top shipping centers worldwide, keep reading freight-related blogs on our blog page. You can also contact us for business.


What are the top 5 shipping centers worldwide?

Singapore, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Busan, and Hong Kong are the top four global shipping centers, according to the ISCD index report for 2021.

Where is the largest port in the world?

Regarding cargo traffic, the Port of Shanghai is the world’s largest port. In 2021, this Chinese port handled 45 million TEUs of cargo. The Yangtze River’s mouth is home to the port, which spans 3,619 square kilometers.

Which country owns the most ports in the world?

China has the most shipping ports at home than any other country.

Is cargo traffic going to increase in the top shipping centers worldwide?

Cargo transportation is going to increase in the post-pandemic era. Consequently, the shipping rates will rise too. Read more about market updates here.

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