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Global News Disruptive 2022 does little to upset global container port rankings

Registration dateAUG 17, 2023

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology EditorAug 1, 2023, 11:51 AM EDT
Articles reproduced by permission of Journal of Commerce.

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor
Aug 1, 2023, 11:51 AM EDT
Articles reproduced by permission of Journal of Commerce.

Disruptive 2022 does little to upset global container port rankings Regional competition in North America and Europe saw volumes migrate to New York-New Jersey, Savannah and Antwerp in 2022. Photo credit: fuyu liu / Shutterstock.com.
A slowdown in global container volumes in the second half of 2022 did little to roil the pecking order of the world’s largest container ports, according to the Journal of Commerce’s Top 50 Global Container Port rankings, compiled in conjunction with container shipping data provider Linerlytica.

But the drop from pandemic demand peaks did create two nearly identical segments in the list: ports that grew volumes in 2022 and those that saw throughput fall; exactly half of the world’s top 50 ports saw volumes contract year over year.

Some of those volume declines were attributable to the tug of war over market share. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — considered to be a single complex in the rankings — saw container volume drop 5.1% to 19.1 million TEUs last year, while the Port of New York and New Jersey grew volumes 5.6% to 9.5 million TEUs and Savannah volume rose 5.2% to 5.9 million TEUs.

A similar dynamic was at play in 2022 in Europe, where Rotterdam’s and Hamburg’s 5.5% and 5.7% declines, respectively, were Antwerp’s gain, with the Belgian port seeing volumes rise 12.3% to 13.5 million TEUs.

Meanwhile, all 14 Chinese ports in the top 50, outside of Hong Kong and Yingkau, saw volumes rise in 2022, an outlier likely driven by robust export volumes before April 2022 and intra-Asia and intra-China volumes after that. In all, 2022 volumes at the top 50 ports rose by 6.45 million TEUs, a 1.2% year-over-year increase.

In contrast, Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asian ports on the list saw a collective drop of 3.59 million TEUs in 2022 despite widespread reports of shippers shifting volumes away from China.

An April commentary in the Financial Times from James Crabtree, executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia, noted that World Bank research found Asian nations outside of China exporting more to the US while also importing more from China. The relationship shifts of first-tier suppliers away from China, in other words, haven’t yet hampered China port throughput, highlighted by the reality that Chinese ports occupy five of the top six spots on the list and seven of the top 10.

China is getting closer to trading partners in Asia to offset any loss of direct volumes to Western nations, S&P Global Market Intelligence trade analysts Agnieszka Maciejewska and Anton Alifandi wrote in a July 25 blog.

“Closer economic ties between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and both China and the US encourage production relocation to the ASEAN-six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam,” they wrote. “The 10 ASEAN member states are becoming more integrated economically with mainland China.” Slow recovery of China’s manufacturing sector The latest S&P Global Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Manufacturing Index (PMI) from July revealed a “softer improvement in operating conditions” across China's manufacturing sector during June.

“Production growth slowed notably from May’s 11-month high, while new order growth remained mild overall,” the report said. “Optimism around the 12-month outlook for production waned to an eight-month low in June, as some firms expressed concerns over relatively sluggish market conditions.”

Another measure of industry health, the Drewry Container Port Throughput Index, showed a 1.6% year-over-year drop in May, the latest data available, for a reading of 107.6. The global index, off a baseline of 100 in January 2019, incorporates throughput data from more than 340 ports worldwide, representing more than 80% of global volumes.

On a regional basis, Drewry’s Greater China Container Port Throughput Index increased 3.4% year over year to 111.7 points, with Shanghai and Qingdao leading the way. Both the European and US indexes showed year-over-year declines of approximately 8%, with their respective indexes hovering close to 100.

Comparing the top ports by volume against another metric — the Container Port Performance Index — is also revealing. Only eight of the ports in the top 20 of the rankings are also found in the Container Port Performance Index 2022, a measure of container ports based on vessel time in port compiled by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

S&P Global is the parent company of the Journal of Commerce. JOC Top 50 Global Container Ports Total annual container throughput, in millions of TEUs, 2022 vs. 2021
JOC Top 50 Global Container Ports
2022 Rank Port Location 2022 2021 Percentage change
1 Shanghai China 47.28 47.03 0.5%
2 Singapore Singapore 37.29 37.47 -0.5%
3 Ningbo-Zhoushan China 33.36 31.08 7.3%
4 Shenzhen China 30.04 28.77 4.4%
5 Qingdao China 25.66 23.71 8.2%
6 Guangzhou (Nansha) China 24.60 24.47 0.5%
7 Busan South Korea 22.08 22.71 -2.8%
8 Tianjin China 21.03 20.27 3.7%
9 Los Angeles/Long Beach US 19.05 20.06 -5.1%
10 Hong Kong China 16.69 17.80 -6.3%
11 Rotterdam Netherlands 14.46 15.30 -5.5%
12 Jebel Ali (Dubai) UAE 13.97 13.74 1.7%
13 Antwerp Belgium 13.50 12.02 12.3%
14 Port Klang Malaysia 13.22 13.72 -3.6%
15 Xiamen China 12.42 12.05 3.1%
16 Tanjung Pelepas Malaysia 10.51 11.20 -6.1%
17 New York and New Jersey US 9.49 8.99 5.6%
18 Kaohsiung Taiwan 9.49 9.86 -3.7%
19 Laem Chabang Thailand 8.74 8.52 2.6%
20 Hamburg Germany 8.30 8.80 -5.7%
21 Suzhou China 8.11 8.11 0.0%
22 Tanger Med Morocco 7.60 7.17 6.0%
23 Guangxi Beibu Gulf China 7.02 6.01 16.8%
24 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam 7.40 7.21 2.6%
25 Colombo Sri Lanka 6.86 7.25 -5.4%
26 Mundra India 6.50 6.67 -2.5%
27 Tanjung Priok (Jakarta) Indonesia 6.40 6.98 -8.3%
28 Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust India 5.95 5.63 5.7%
29 Savannah US 5.90 5.61 5.2%
30 Rizhao China 5.80 5.17 12.2%
31 Lianyungang China 5.57 5.03 10.7%
32 Haiphong Vietnam 6.05 5.75 5.2%
33 Manila Philippines 5.47 4.98 9.8%
34 Colon Panama 5.10 4.92 3.7%
35 Valencia Spain 5.08 5.61 -9.5%
36 Yingkou China 5.00 5.21 -4.0%
37 Piraeus Greece 5.00 5.31 -5.8%
38 Santos Brazil 4.99 4.83 3.3%
39 Tokyo Japan 4.93 4.86 1.4%
40 Algeciras Spain 4.77 4.80 -0.7%
41 Bremerhaven Germany 4.57 5.02 -8.9%
42 Jeddah Saudi Arabia 4.96 4.74 4.6%
43 Salalah Oman 4.50 4.51 -0.2%
44 Port Said Egypt 4.02 4.76 -15.5%
45 Dalian China 4.46 3.67 21.5%
46 Cai Mep Vietnam 5.01 4.25 17.9%
47 Tanjung Perak (Surabaya)* Indonesia 4.07 4.17 -2.4%
48 Vancouver Canada 3.56 3.68 -3.3%
49 Barcelona Spain 3.52 3.51 0.3%
50 Manzanillo Mexico 3.47 3.37 3.0%
*Estimated
Source: S&P Global, Linerlytica
· Contact Eric Johnson at eric.johnson@spglobal.com and follow him on Twitter: @LogTechEric.