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Container Port Traffic 2021 (millions)

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Container Port Traffic by Country 2024

A container port is a facility where cargo containers are transferred between vehicles for further transportation. This transfer can occur between container ships, in which case the port may be known more specifically as a maritime container port. When the cargo transfer occurs between container ships and land vehicles like trains and trucks, the port may be called an inland container port. The world’s increasingly global economy has caused container port traffic to grow more quickly than other forms of cargo transport.

Container Volume

Container traffic is measured in terms of containers, which isn’t an exact measure of volume as the interior dimensions of containers vary. The standard unit of measure for containers is twenty-foot equivalent (TEU), so-named because twenty feet is the most common interior length of a container. The height and width of these containers average about 8.25 feet, meaning that one TEU is about 1,360 cubic feet. Many larger container ships carry 40-foot containers, which have a capacity of two TEU.

Growth

The first inland container port opened in 1932, followed by the first maritime container port in 1956. The use of container ships and standardized containers has been the key to the growth of this method of transporting cargo. Growth has generally been steady, except for periods of major world events such as global wars or disease. Container traffic has increased especially quickly since 2000, with only two drops during this period. The first of these was in 2009 during a major global recession, and the second was in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

Traffic

The total container traffic for the world was about 840 million TEU in 2021, which is easily the highest volume ever recorded in a year. The following chart shows the countries with the highest container port traffic as measured in TEU:

The major factors that determine the container traffic that a particular country handles are the size of its economy and geographical location. In the case of China and the United States, the sheer size of these countries' economies accounts for their high volume of container traffic. The other countries on the above list have significantly smaller economies, but they’re all islands or peninsulas on major shipping lanes in Asia. Together, these six countries account for the majority of the world’s container traffic.

  • The average traffic for 113 countries measured in 2020 was 6.9 million containers.The highest value was in China: 246.04 million containers and the lowest value was in Dominica: 0.01 million containers.

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Country
Container Port Traffic 2021 (millions)
Container Port Traffic 2020 (millions)
China262.61246.04
United States60.5552.93
Singapore37.4736.87
South Korea29.7928.83
Malaysia28.2626.67
Japan22.221.56
India19.9417.58
United Arab Emirates19.1818.72
Vietnam18.3616.39
Hong Kong17.7717.95
Spain17.7116.75
Netherlands15.7814.76
Germany14.7213.95
Belgium13.0812.7
Turkey12.5911.63
Indonesia11.811.17
Brazil11.810.45
Italy11.310.7
Thailand10.449.57
Saudi Arabia9.889.33
United Kingdom9.849.27
Panama8.627.77
Philippines8.497.87
Morocco8.467
Australia8.158.47
Mexico7.856.49
Egypt7.326.81
Sri Lanka7.256.85
Canada7.176.3
Greece6.076.18
France5.524.44
Russia5.264.92
Oman5.235.14
Colombia4.94.27
Chile4.584.22
South Africa4.424.08
Pakistan3.553.16
Portugal3.282.98
Bangladesh3.272.9
New Zealand3.253.45
Poland3.192.92
Israel3.132.99
Malta2.972.44
Peru2.872.65
Ecuador2.592.52
Dominican Republic2.181.78
Togo1.991.73
Jamaica1.981.63
Argentina1.791.71
Bahamas1.791.45
Guatemala1.741.58
Sweden1.641.61
Ghana1.61.32
Nigeria1.571.55
Iran1.551.25
Qatar1.541.41
Costa Rica1.521.51
Puerto Rico1.491.49
Kenya1.441.36
Finland1.411.5
Ireland1.141.06
Myanmar1.091.02
Denmark1.060.93
Ukraine1.021.05
Ivory Coast1.020.99
Republic of the Congo10.93
Slovenia10.95
Uruguay0.980.76
Norway0.880.84
Honduras0.820.7
Jordan0.770.86
Djibouti0.690.86
Lithuania0.670.64
Romania0.630.64
Tunisia0.470.48
Mozambique0.440.42
Latvia0.430.46
Yemen0.420.42
Trinidad and Tobago0.410.41
Bahrain0.40.46
Croatia0.370.38
Cyprus0.320.39
El Salvador0.290.23
Bulgaria0.250.25
Estonia0.230.21
Nicaragua0.170.17
Namibia0.150.14
Barbados0.090.09
Cape Verde0.080.08
Aruba0.060.05
Grenada0.02
Tanzania0.71
Algeria1.55
Angola0.7
Cameroon0.37
Syria0.24
Cambodia0.6
Guinea0.25
Haiti0.18
Papua New Guinea0.2
Switzerland0.11
Paraguay0.04
Lebanon0.77
Kuwait0.86
Georgia0.55
Gabon0.18
Mauritius0.44
Guyana0.06
Brunei0.11
Iceland0.3
Samoa0.04
showing: 111 rows

What country has the most container port traffic?

With over 109 million TEUS, China is the country with the most container port traffic. By 2024, the entire world's container traffic is expected to reach 945 million TEUS.

Frequently Asked Questions

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