Top ports in Asia 2024

Most goods in international trade are moved by large, ocean-faring container ships. Container ports have container terminals specializing in handling goods shipped in intermodal containers. The majority of world production takes place on the Asian continent, and the products are exported via sea. What are the top ports in Asia?

How many ports are there in Asia?

Asia is the largest continent. It stretches from the western Pacific Ocean to the eastern Mediterranean Sea. There are around 1,700 ports in Asia, including coastal, river, and lake ports. China has the highest number of the biggest ports in Asia. Moreover, Asia dominates the largest world seaports – 9 out of the top 10 container ports are in Asia, and 7 of them are in China.

Top ports in Asia 2024

10. HKHKG – Port of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

Port of Hong Kong, China
Source: cmhk.com/main/a/2022/g04/a44338_47128.shtml

The port of Hong Kong used to be the biggest in the world. It fell behind the government-invested ports of Busan and Singapore, as well as its Chinese rivals. There are nine container terminals operated by five different operators: COSCO, HIT, Asia Container Terminals, Goodman DP World, and Modern Terminals.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • cargo (32%)
  • container ship (27%)
  • fishing (12%)
  • passenger (5%)
  • pleasure craft (3%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 14.34 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: -14%

Arrivals per day: 200 vessels

Port authority: Hong Kong Marine Department

Website: mardep.gov.hk/hk/home.html

9. AEJEA – Port Jebel Ali (United Arab Emirates)

Jebel Ali
Source: silver-runner.com/jebel-ali-port

Jebel Ali Port is located on the coast of the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai. It is the largest artificial port in the world and one of the largest industrial complexes in the Middle East. The port can handle megamax container ships.

Annual throughput in 2023: 14.5 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: 3.7%

Port authority: DP World

Arrivals per day: 100 vessels

Website: dpworld.com/en/uae/ports-and-terminals/jebel-ali-port

8. CNGZG – Port of Guangzhou (China)

Port of Guangzhou, China
Source: 21jingji.com/article/20220810/herald/8c47cf64038fe42f24381f3d57024ff4.html

The shipping hub in the Pearl River Delta is the port of Guangzhou. Its Nansha port handles 70% of the maritime traffic of all ports in the port of Guangzhou. It boasts about 220 box shipping routes, over 100 of which are international.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • cargo (87%)
  • tanker (4%)
  • fishing (1%)
  • other (1%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 20.8 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: -15.4%

Arrivals per day: 350 vessels

Port authority: Guangzhou Port Authority

Website: gzport.com/foreground/index.html

7. CNTXG – Port of Tianjin (China)

Port of Tianjin, China
Source: ptacn.com/contents/17/1491.html

The port of Tianjin is the biggest port in northern China and the maritime gateway to Beijing. It is crucial to the Jing-Jin-Ji region, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei. Tianjin invests heavily in green technologies and is on the way to decarbonization.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • fishing (26%)
  • cargo (17%)
  • bulk carrier (16%)
  • container Ship (9%)
  • tanker (6%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 21 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: 3.8%

Arrivals per day: 300 vessels

Port authority: Tianjin Port Group Co.

Website: tianjinportdev.com/html/index.php

6. KRPUS – Port of Busan (South Korea)

Port of Busan, South Korea
Source: hotelscombined.com.tw/Place/Port_of_Busan.htm

The port of Busan was established in 1876 to handle trade with Japan and China. Now it is the biggest on the peninsula, handling 80% of the country’s containerized cargo. Its goal is to take third place within two decades.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • fishing (18%)
  • container ship (15%)
  • general cargo (14%)
  • tanker (7%)
  • fishing vessel (6%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 22.75 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: -0.6%

Arrivals per day: 360 vessels

Port authority: Busan Port Authority

Website: busanpa.com/eng

5. CNQDG – Port of Qingdao (China)

Port of Qingdao, China
Source: xindemarinenews.com/china/24810.html

The port of Qingdao was opened in 1892. It plays an important role in the New Silk Road project. It is divided into four parts: Guangdong Oil, Dagang, Qianwan, and Dongjiakou. Qingdao is the first port of call in northern China for service to the Middle East.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • container ship (31%)
  • fishing (26%)
  • cargo (11%)
  • bulk carrier (7%)
  • general cargo (6%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 26.39 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: 3%

Arrivals per day: 200 vessels

Port authority: Qingdao Port International Co Ltd.

Website: qingdao-port.com/portal/en

4. CNSZX – Port of Shenzhen (China)

Port of Shenzhen, China
Source: 视觉中国

The port of Shenzhen is, in fact, one of many ports located along the 260 km coastline of Shenzhen, Guangdong province. It has “two wings,” meaning east and west port groups, “six areas,” and “three main ports,” referring to Yantian, Nanshan, and Dachan Bay. It is connected to over 300 ports in various parts of the world.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • cargo (68%)
  • container ship (15%)
  • fishing (4%)
  • tanker (3%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 29.88 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: -0.4%

Arrivals per day: 470 vessels

Port Authority: Transport Commission of Shenzhen Municipality

Website: szports.org.cn/cn

3. CNNBG/CNZOS – Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan (China)

Port of Ningbo Zhoushan, China
Source: gzw.zj.gov.cn/art/2021/5/13/art_1229463460_22136.html

The oldest seaport in China, the port of Ningbo-Zhoushan, is also the third-busiest port in the whole of Asia. It consists of Beilun Port, Ningbo Port, and Zhenhai Port. It provides 260 container routes to 600 ports. Recent developments involve paperless port systems and improving intermodal transport.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • cargo (31%)
  • container ship (29%)
  • tanker (7%)
  • bulk carrier (5%)
  • oil/chemical tanker (5%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 35.3 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: 6%

Arrivals per day: 630 vessels

Port authority: Ningbo Municipal Transport Bureau, Ningbo Municipal Port Administration Bureau

Website: nbport.com.cn/gfww

2. SGSIN – Port of Singapore (Singapore)

Port of Singapore
Source: caifu.sg/?p=1082

The port of Singapore was officially established on April 1, 1964. It is the second busiest port in the world by tonnage. It connects 600 seaports in over 120 countries. The port handles half of the world’s annual petroleum products, automobiles, and machinery supply.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • container ship (26%)
  • pleasure craft (22%)
  • oil/chemical tanker (10%)
  • oil products tanker (6%)
  • crude oil tanker (5%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 39.01 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: 4.5%

Arrivals per day: 2100 vessels

Port authority: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Website: singaporepsa.com

Which port is the biggest in Asia?

1. CNSHG – Port of Shanghai (China)

Port of Shanghai, China
Source: 视觉中国

Shanghai Port was opened in 1842. It has been the busiest container port for over a decade, not only in Asia but also globally. The port handles 25% of China’s foreign trade. The TEU exceeded 40 million in 2017 and has not gone lower since. Shanghai’s Yangshan Deepwater Port is the world’s largest automated container terminal.

The types of vessels regularly calling at the port are:

  • cargo (72%)
  • container ship (9%)
  • fishing (3%)
  • tanker (3%)
  • bulk carrier (1%).

Annual throughput in 2023: 49.15 million TEUs

Year-on-year volume gain: 3.9%

Arrivals per day: 2600 vessels

Port authority: Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission

Website: en.portshanghai.com.cn

Top 10 ports in Asia 2024

Top ports in Asia ranking
Top ports in Asia ranking

Ports in Asia map

Top seaports in Asia 2024
Top seaports in Asia 2024

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