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Chinese Ports: Rising Containers, Decreasing Total Cargo

The port machinery in China has been in full swing during the first half of 2023, with an impressive increase in container volume that showcases the vitality of maritime trade in the country. The major container ports have shown significant growth in their operations, underscoring China’s importance in the global transportation network.

The Chinese port landscape on the first half of the year has been astounding. Data reveals a 4.8% increase in total container volume compared to the same period last year, reaching a figure close to 150 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units). This colossal figure is a testament to the ongoing flow of goods and commodities through Chinese ports, supporting China’s crucial role in the global supply chain.

Despite this remarkable increase in container activity, it’s also important to mention that the total cargo volume in Chinese ports has decreased by 8% compared to last year, reaching around 8.1 billion tons. This decrease could be attributed to a range of factors, including fluctuations in global demand and changing trade dynamics.

The table provided by the Chinese Ministry of Transport (1) details the flow of containers and cargo in the top twelve ports of the country. The port of Shanghai leads the way with an impressive handling of 23.74 million TEUs, maintaining its position as the busiest container port. The ports of Ningbo and Zhoushan closely follow with 17.68 million TEUs, while the port of Qingdao holds the third place with 13.94 million TEUs.

(1) Source: Chinese Ministry of Transport

The figures reveal that the ports of Yinkou, Dalian, and Lianyungang have experienced the highest percentage growth. These ports have seen notable increases in their container flow, with year-on-year growth rates of 26.8%, 20.8%, and 15.4%, respectively. On the other hand, the port of Shenzhen was the only one to record a year-on-year decrease, with a handling of 13.53 million TEUs, representing a 6.1% drop.

In conclusion, the data from the first half of 2023 sheds light on the immense port activity in China and its impact on global trade. While the total cargo volume has experienced a decline, the steady growth in container handling underscores the resilience of Chinese ports and their pivotal role in the global logistics chain. These impressive figures testify to China’s ongoing economic boom and significance in the international maritime landscape.