As an economic powerhouse and world’s top exporter, it should come as no surprise that seven of the top 10 largest ports in the world are located in China
Over the years, Singapore was known as the world’s largest container port but today Shanghai is on the podium. Shipping is responsible for 90% of world trade and China is by far the most dominant force in maritime shipping and a major influencer of the world’s commercial trade. The country is investing heavily in infrastructures such as ports, roads, and railways as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.
Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao and Guangzhou harbors are PRC based busiest ports, but behind the scene there is one hub that is ready to overthrow Shanghai: Ningbo. Let’s see how this strategic hub is ready to become world’s busiest port.
The ports of Ningbo (also called Ningbo-Zhoushan) merged in 2015 as third largest port in China. Shanghai may be the busiest Chinese port, but it’s the port of Ningbo that holds the crown for being the first port to handle 1 billion tonnes in cargo throughput in a calendar year.
Today it connects to more than 600 ports in over 190 countries and regions since 2016 the port has been increasing its efficiency to meet the rising demand. Already, it was offering regular intermodal rail services to the hinterlands. But it has recently launched new services, with its sea-rail transport lines now providing 11 train services to 36 cities in China and reaching farther out countries in central and northern Asia, and even eastern Europe.
In recent days, the port receives 1.5 ships able to carry 200,000-ton containers and over 100 ships able to carry 100,000-ton containers a day. It also has nearly 250 container shipping routes, and more than 120 are ocean shipping routes, making the Ningbo-Zhoushan port the largest port in southern China in terms of providing integrated rail-sea transportation.
Why is Ningbo one of the busiest ports in China? The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is just one answer. According to Beijing, Ningbo has a strategic role to connect China to new destinations because the city is actually the meeting point among Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone and the Maritime Silk Road. Plus the Chuanshan harbour, a part of the Ningbo Zhoushan Port, now has 10 container terminals on its 3,400-meter-long coastline, capable of handling 10 cargo ships that weigh 150,000 tons at the same time.
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