Shanghai About to Be First to Handle 50m TEU in a Year?

The Huangpu River in Shanghai, China
Updated Published

Shanghai has established an unparalleled lead of 10 million TEUs over its closest competitor in the rankings of the world’s top 30 container ports, according to data compiled by Alphaliner.

For the past 14 years, Shanghai has maintained its position as the largest container port globally, consistently outperforming Singapore, which now holds second place. Shanghai is on the verge of becoming the first port ever to handle 50 million TEUs within a single year.

China represents over half of the throughput for the top 30 ports. Notably, Qingdao has seen the most significant increase globally, reaching 30 million TEUs last year for the first time and is now close to overtaking Shenzhen, which is in fourth place. Meanwhile, third-placed Ningbo is rapidly approaching Singapore for the second spot.

Once the world’s leading container port at the start of the millennium, Hong Kong has now fallen out of the top 10 for the first time.

Among the top 30, Morocco's Tanger Med was the second fastest-growing port last year, surpassing the long-established Hamburg. Since 2019, Africa's largest boxport has seen an 80% increase in volumes, reaching 8.6 million TEUs last year, which is 95% of its nominal capacity. 

This achievement surpasses the targets set by the port authority four years early. Additionally, the introduction of the European Union’s emission trading scheme this year, coupled with the rerouting of approximately 90% of liner shipping around the Cape of Good Hope due to Houthi attacks, positions Tanger Med for potentially exceptional growth in throughput this year.