NEWS & BLOG
Views: 33 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-08-29 Origin: Site
In the late 1950s, container shipping went from concept to reality, and it was only in the 1960s that containers expanded beyond U.S. territory, spreading to Western Europe and Japan, reflected in the 1973 TOP 20 container port ranking, with the Port of New York/New Jersey in first place with an annual throughput of 1.6 million TEU, almost twice as much as the second place Port of Rotterdam, a figure that in 2021 does not even rank No. 1 (in 2021, the No. 100 global container port in terms of throughput is the Port of Jinzhou with 1.83 million TEUs per year). Ports on both sides of the Atlantic swept the list, with only four ports (Port of Kobe, Port of Hong Kong, Port of Yokohama, Port of Tokyo) located in Asia, and none of mainland China's ports on the list. For most economies in East, Southeast and South Asia, foreign trade is still a distant term.
It wasn't until MalcomMcLean, a pioneer in container shipping, was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to transport containers to Vietnam, and since there was no return cargo, he thought of shipping back cargo from Japan. Over time, the trans-Pacific route and the East Asia to Europe route gradually replaced the Atlantic route. This was also a period of rapid growth for the four Asian dragons. In the 1990 TOP 20 container port list, the Port of Singapore (1st), the Port of Hong Kong (2nd), the Port of Kaohsiung (4th), the Port of Busan (6th), and the Port of Keelung (10th) occupied five of the top ten positions, while the once dominant Port of New York/New Jersey, located on the Atlantic coast, had been overtaken by the Port of Rotterdam, the Port of Los Angeles, and the Port of Hamburg.
The history of the Port of Singapore is particularly worth writing about, as the port was founded with the purpose of transshipment and ship services from the time of independence from Britain. By 1982, the annual throughput of the Port of Singapore exceeded 1 million TEU, in 1990, it passed the 5 million TEU mark and became the world's largest port, in 1994, the annual throughput exceeded 10 million TEU, and in 2005, the annual throughput exceeded 20 million TEU, setting new records at an accelerating pace. At that time, the twin star with the Port of Singapore is the Port of Hong Kong, through the transit of mainland and intra-regional cargo, the Port of Hong Kong also topped several times during this period, in 1987 to 1989, 1992 to 1997, 1999 to 2004, all over the Port of Singapore.
In the phase of holding between the Port of Singapore and the Port of Hong Kong, the manufacturing industry in mainland China rose together with the container transport industry, and at the end of the 1990s, the Chinese government launched a major port infrastructure, and large container terminals sprang up along the coast. In 1998, the annual container throughput of Shanghai port was 3.066 million TEU, which entered the TOP 10 for the first time, and since then, the throughput has been increasing year by year, and the ranking has been steadily rising, and in 2010, the container throughput was 29.069 million TEU, which reached the top for the first time. At this time, Chinese mainland ports in the TOP10 occupy 5 seats, after ten years list also tends to be more and more stable, until 2020 TOP20 container ports out, the world has been accustomed to the dominance of Chinese ports.
However, changes are always underway, and the TOP 100 container ports have been release in 2021 (read more: Top 100 Container Ports 2021, Source Lloyd's List). From the internal point of view of Chinese ports, after Tianjin Port, there has been a huge break in the throughput of mainland coastal ports, and ports such as Yingkou Port and Dalian Port are even in a downward trend; from the external point of view, as China's demographic dividend and other advantages are no longer available and industries are moving to other economies, the emerging growth poles of ports are migrating, will Chinese ports still be able to lead the way in the next 10 or even 20 years?