Major International Cargo & Container Shipping Ports

Port of Shanghai, China – The Port of Shanghai is the most busy container shipping port in the world. Shanghai’s history as a prominent world shipping port goes back several centuries and it has remained a major port since that time.

Port of Singapore, China – Moving half of the world’s annual crude oil and 20 percent of its shipping containers, the Port of Singapore is the second busiest port and the largest transshipment port. The Port of Singapore is the busiest port in the world by shipping tonnage.

Port of Hong Kong, China – A primary shipping port for the Far East trade routes, the Port of Hong Kong lies in the South China Sea. Being a natural harbor, the port can easily accommodate a wide variety of shipping vessels and is one of the busiest ports in the world, both in terms of cargo and passengers.

Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands – Europe’s largest and most bustling seaport, the Port of Rotterdam was the busiest port in the world for 40 years–a stretch that ended in 2002. The port’s major cargo include petrochemical and transshipment goods.


Port of Busan, South Korea – Located in the southeastern part of the Korean peninsula, the Port of Busan has an eastern port that handles the bulk of its international trade, while the western port is used primarily for fishing activities. The main industries that use the Port of Busan are ship building, automobiles, chemicals, electronics and steel. 

Port of Antwerp, Belgium – Europe’s second largest port behind only Rotterdam, the Port of Antwerp is located further inland, offering easier access to the major delivery routes across Europe.

Port of Keihin, Japan – The Keihin Ports are a collection of ports in Japan made up of Yokohama, Tokyo and Kawasaki. The ports are collectively a central component of the trade and cargo routes through East Japan. The Port of Yokohama is the main shipping point of the Keihin ports.

Port of Jebel Ali, UAE – The largest man-made harbor in the world is also home to largest shipping port in the Middle East. The Port of Jebel Ali was built in the Persian Gulf during the 1970s in order to supplement the Port of Rashid, which lies closer to the commercial centers of the region.

Port of Hamburg, Germany – Located on the Elbe River, the Port of Hamburg is Europe’s largest shipping port next to Rotterdam and Antwerp. For centuries, the Port of Hamburg was the major shipping port of Central Europe and dates back to the 12th century.

Port of Los Angeles, USA – The largest shipping port in the United States, both by volume and cargo, the Port of Los Angeles is also in the top 20 of worldwide ports for container shipping. Combined with the nearby Port of Long Beach, the two makeup the ninth busiest port area in the world.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia – One of the fastest growing ports in the world, the Port of Tanjung Pelepas opened in 1999 and became the largest shipping port in Malaysia by 2003. The port has steadily increased the number of TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) moved each year it has been in operation.

Port of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – Part of the Saigon port network, the Port of Ho Chi Minh City is the main shipping center for South Vietnam and one of the primary drivers of the regional economy. It is one of the top 30 shipping ports in the world.

Port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – The main port of Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah seaport was opened in 1976 on the Red Sea. The port handles a wide variety of international cargo imports and exports, including containers, grain, oil, RORO cargo, livestock and passenger services.

Port of Valencia, Spain – One of the main seaports in Europe, the Port of Valencia has a long history that dates to the 1400s. It has gradually been built up since then, eventually becoming a major force that generates more than half of Spain’s gross domestic product.

Port Said, Egypt – Officially opened during the building of the Suez Canal, Port Said is an essential shipping location for Egyptian imports and exports. It also acts as a refueling area for ships that are passing through the Suez Canal and a summertime tourist destination. Port Said is a duty-free port that has more relaxed customs regulations than other international seaports.

Port of Felixstowe, U.K. – Another one of Europe’s busiest ports, Felixstowe handles almost half of the container trade that goes through Britain.

Worldwide Shipping Port Resources

International Association Of Ports & Harbors – An organization that promotes collaboration between worldwide shipping ports to advance maritime transport efficiency and environmentally friendly standards within the industry.

Port Technology International – A news and information resource for the ports, harbors, and shipping terminals around the world. The website also has technical papers about logistics, resources about sustainability and general information about issues that affect the international transport industry.

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