£2.41 trillion

Millennium Cargo

Did you know that more than around 90% of the world trade is carried out by the international shipping industry? I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty nuts!

Despite the many technological advances over the last 50 years, cargo shipping still remains the most popular way to move goods throughout the world. It may not be the fastest, air freight holds that title, but it is safe, reliable and affordable.

The internet has opened up the world of trade even more. Now anyone with an internet connection can buy goods from anywhere in the world and ship them to their home country. For many manufacturers, business is booming!

And so is shipping.

There are thousands of ports all around the world, but there’s no prizes for guessing which country does the most trade.

Over recent decades China has positioned itself as the world’s strongest competitor for manufacture of goods. In 2017 alone China exported goods totalling more than $2.4 Trillion. So, it’s no surprise that they have some of the busiest ports in the world.

In fact, 7 of the top 10 busiest ports in the world are in China, with UAE, South Korea and Singapore taking the remaining three spots.

Here they are in descending order:

10. Port of Tianjin, China - 7.18 Million TEUs
9. Port of Dubai, UAE - 14.8 Million TEUs
8. Port of Qingdao, China - 18 Million TEUs
7. Port of Guangzhou, China - 18.9 Million TEUs
6. Port of Busan, South Korea - 19.4 Million TEUs
5. Port of Hong Kong, China 19.8 Million TEUs
4. Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, China - 23.3 Million TEUs
3. Port of Shenzhen, China - 23.98 Million TEUs
2. Port of Singapore, Malaysia - 30.9 Million TEUs
1. Port of Shanghai, China - 37.13 Million TEUs

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find it fascinating and inspiring to see just how much trade the shipping industry does. Despite the many changes we’re set to see as technology continues to change the world, I’m confident that the shipping industry will remain strong… Well, at least until they make 3D printing a household thing, then who knows what will happen!

During my 30 plus years in the shipping industry I have travelled all around the world, meeting suppliers, customers, partners and of course visiting ports. But I’ve only made it to 4 of the top 10 so far! Perhaps I’ll add this to my bucket list…