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Australia misses the boat in Top 50 World Port Rankings

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The list of the World’s Top 50 Container Ports for 2013 was released this month – and no Australian ports have made the cut.  

Asian ports hold nine of the 10 top port rankings and fill 26 of the 50 slots in the 2013 rankings.  

For the fourth year running Shanghai was named the world’s largest container port, followed by Singapore and Shenzhen, China.  

Australia’s Port of Melbourne dropped off the list after holding the 49th spot in 2012. Melbourne reported 2.49 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) in 2013, down 0.8 percent from 2012. TEUs are a standard linear measurement used in quantifying container traffic flows.  

The list of the world’s top 50 container ports, compiled by the Journal of Commerce (JOC), offers a glimpse of trading and sourcing patterns. It is also an indication of the role infrastructure plays in port productivity and competitiveness.  

JOC has been conducting the rankings for the past 15 years.  

The Middle East’s largest container port, Jebel Ali in Dubai, ranked ninth, handling 13.6 million 20-foot-equivalent units in 2013. Jebel Ali is the flagship facility of parent DP World, a global terminal operator that handled 55 million TEUs in 2013 and 29.4 million TEUs in the first half of this year.   

Four US ports in Top 50  

Europe’s largest container port, Rotterdam, ranked 11th with 11.6 million TEUs in 2013. Construction at Maasvlakte 2 for the new APM terminal and the new Rotterdam World Gateway Terminal should be completed and operational by year-end.  

Four US ports are ranked in the top 50, handling a combined 23.1 million TEUs. That’s about equal to volume at Shenzhen, which toppled Hong Kong for the third spot.  

In addition to Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Port of New York and New Jersey, with 5.5 million TEUs, and Georgia ports, with 3 million TEUs, made the top 50 list.  

Asia led regional market share with 70.5 percent of the 421.3 million TEUs of cargo the top 50 ports handled last year. European ports held 13.5 percent, and the Americas, 8.5 percent. The Middle East and Africa trailed with 7.5 percent market share. 

Biggest mover  

Asian ports were strong performers overall in the 2013 list of top container ports, but the port that moved up the most from its 2012 ranking is the Port of Dalian.  

The Chinese port, located at the entrance of Bohai Bay, rose three spots from 17th to come in at 14th, thanks to a 22.9 percent rise in volume. The port handled 9.9 million TEUs in 2013, up from 8 million in 2012.  

The port of Nagoya in Japan is barely holding on to its place among JOC’s Top 50 container ports. The port, which was in the 45th spot in 2013, dropped to 49th overall in 2013. The drop was not because of a decline in volume — the port’s volume rose 2 percent to 2.7 million TEUs in 2013 — but more due to a more subdued rate of growth than other ports experienced. Port Metro Vancouver, which edged up one notch to 47th, grew by 4.1 percent in 2013 and Gioia Tauro in Italy jumped three spots to 44th on the back of 13.5 percent volume growth.  

The JOC Top 50 World Container Ports’ ranking in calendar year 2013 totaled 421.29 million TEUs, an increase of 3.2 percent above 2012 TEU results of 408.04 million TEUs.  

World’s Top 50 Container Ports  

  1. Shanghai, China
  2. Singapore, Singapore
  3. Shenzhen, China
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Busan, South Korea
  6. Ningbo-Zhoushan, China
  7. Qingdao, China
  8. Guangshou Harbour, China
  9. Jebel Ali, Dubai
  10. Tianjin, China
  11. Rotterdom, Netherlands
  12. Port Klang, Malaysia
  13. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  14. Dallan, China
  15. Hamburg, Germany
  16. Antwerp, Belgium
  17. Keihin Ports, Japan
  18. Xianen, China
  19. Los Angeles, US
  20. Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia
  21. Long Beach, US
  22. Laem Chabang, Thailand
  23. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  24. Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, Indonesia
  25. Bremen, Germany
  26. Lianyungung, China
  27. New York-New Jersey, US
  28. Hanshin Ports, Japan
  29. Yingkou, China
  30. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  31. Algeciras Bay, Spain
  32. Valencia, Spain
  33. Colombo, Sri Lanka
  34. Jawaharlal Nehru, India
  35. Sharjah, UAE
  36. Manila, Philippines
  37. Felixstowe, UK
  38. Santos, Brazil
  39. Ambarli, Turkey
  40. Colon, Panama
  41. Salalah, Oman
  42. Balboa, Panama
  43. Port Said East, Egypt
  44. Gioia Tauro, Italy
  45. Georgia Ports, US
  46. Tanjung Perah, Indonesia
  47. Metro Vancouver BC, Canada
  48. Marsaxlokk, Malta
  49. Nagoya, Japan
  50. Durban, South Africa

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