When you think of the most common method of transporting goods all over the world, your first thought is most likely planes, trains, or even automobiles. Even in the technologically advanced 21st century, shipping still trumps all of those as the preferred method of transportation. In fact, international shipping accounts for over 90% of all trade in the entire world! Those humongous container ships have to dock somewhere, which has led to the creation of some of the most enormous and extravagant ports the world has ever seen. Here are 5 of the largest shipping ports in the world. Their true size and daily traffic might surprise you.
Port of Shanghai, China
It should be no surprise that China is involved in a vast majority of the world's trade. The Port of Shanghai is undoubtedly the largest port in the entire world. The port is located at the edge of the Yangtze River, making it a perfect spot for connecting trade vessels to come in and out easily.
In 2012, this port dealt with over 2,000 shipping containers, like those at IPME, coming in and out on a monthly basis, carrying a total weight of about 744 tons! That's enough traffic coming through every day to make your head spin. This massive port accounts for at least a quarter of all of China's trade, so just imagine what would happen to the country if it shut down for a few days.
Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Netherlands is the perfect type of country to house a functional port. It is basically surrounded by water, while still remaining connected to most of Europe. The Port of Rotterdam is extremely important to the life of a lot of European countries. In fact, it is known as the gateway to the markets of Europe, providing goods to over 350 million people!
The port is a massive industrial structure, spanning a distance of about 42 kilometers. That not only makes it the biggest port in Europe, but one of the biggest in the world.
Port of Los Angeles, USA
Los Angeles is known as the "City of Angels", but it would be better suited to a moniker such as the "City of Ships" instead. The port spans a distance of a whopping 7,500 acres that cover both land and sea. This port is ideal for transportation because it borders the Pacific Ocean, making it the closest port to the powerhouse transporters in East Asia.
The average tonnage that goes through the port is around 170 tons every month! With all of that traffic, there is a need for qualified workers to handle it. In fact, the port itself is responsible for over 3 million jobs.
Port of Hamburg, Germany
Much like the Port of Rotterdam, the Port of Hamburg is one of the most important ports in Europe. What separates it from the other ports is that it is the largest railway port in all of Europe, providing easy transportation once the goods have been shipped through the port.
It may not be the biggest port in Europe, but it is no slouch when it comes to traffic. The port itself sees at least 10,000 ships every year, carrying a total of about 132 tons of cargo. Of that cargo, it should be noted that the Port of Hamburg is the biggest port in Europe for the importation of coffee!
Port of Singapore, Singapore
The Port of Singapore is one of the most interested ports in the world. Singapore is a country that is spread over a series of islands, so the port system had to adapt. In fact, the port itself connects about 600 other ports around the world!
This port will see an average of about 140,000 ships each year, which will be delivering a staggering 540 million tons of cargo. To give you an idea of how important this port is, 50% of the global oil supply is transported through it. Imagine if half the oil the world uses suddenly vanished.
As you can see, ships still dominate the entire world even after the advent of planes, trains, and cars. If you think about it, most of the world is water, so what better way to get your goods from one side of the world to the other than by taking to the high seas?