China’s coastal ports enable the transportation of coal, containers, imported iron ore, and dry bulk grain. China’s most popular ports in terms of tonnage are located in the cities of Chiwan, Guangzhou, Huangpu, Lianyungang, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shekou, Tianjin, Xingang and Yantian. For a full list of Chinese ports (sorted by Province), please click here.

Container Traffic by Port
As seen below, the top Chinese ports in terms of container traffic of Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) are Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Dalian, Xiamen, Lianyungang and Yingkou. In 2014, Shanghai was the world’s busiest container port with 35.2 million TEU transported through the port. In 2013, Shenzhen surpassed Hong Kong as China’s second busiest container port.

Major Grain Ports of China
As seen below, from 2013 to 2014, Chinese imports of rice, wheat, and corn primarily entered through the ports of Huangpu (Guangdong Province), Shenzhen (Guangdong Province), Nanjing (Jiangsu Province), Shanghai, Qingdao (Shandong Province), and Tianjin. Regarding soybeans, from 2013 to 2014, the top import ports were (in order of importance by volume) Qingdao, Nanjing, Tianjin, Nanning, and Dalian. It should be noted that Hong Kong is a major importer of rice, but imports relatively small amounts of soybeans, wheat, and corn.

Live Shipping Traffic Around China

      • Dalian Port Corporation Ltd (PDA): Established in 2005, PDA Corp. is a state-owned enterprise that provides for the discharging, storage and transshipment for corn, soybean, barley and wheat. The terminal owns 5 berths in operation and the total annual capacity of the terminal is 7.2 million tons. It is one of the highly competitive grain transshipment centers in Northeast China (as of 2012). (English version)
      • Tianjin Port Group Ltd: In 1986, the port constructed grain handling facilities and became one of the principal import/export grain channels in northern China. In 2004, the port improved its handling facilities, increasing its grain storage capacity to 110,000 metric tons. (English version)
      • Guangzhou Port Group (GPG): Established in 2004, GPG is a wholly state-owned company and South China’s largest foreign grain import base. In 2011, the whole Guangzhou Port accomplished cargo throughput of 431 million tons(ranking the 6th of the world) and container throughput of 14.25million 20-foot equivalent units or TEUs (ranking the 7th of the world). (English version)
      • Ningbo Port Group Co., Ltd.: Established in 2004 by Ningbo Port Group, China Merchants International Container Terminals and other six companies, the port generally ranks second in cargo throughput and the 4th in container throughput within China. Ningbo port primarily engages in stevedoring, storage and transfer of imported iron ores, domestic and foreign trade containers, crude oil and product oil, liquid chemical products, coals and other bulk cargoes.

Chinese Shipping News & Freight Indices

      • Marine News China: Online (English language) journal that provides insights into the maritime world of China. It covers current topics in the shipping industry, the logistics and the shipbuilding sector in China.
      • Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE): China’s first dry bulk and oil import indices. SSE represents a major step taken by the Chinese government to promote and invigorate China’s shipping market and match the construction of Shanghai International Shipping Center.
      • Chineseshipping Net: Professional shipping website sponsored by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE). The website hosts various freight indices including the China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), China Coastal Bulk Freight Index (CBFI), China Import Dry Bulk Freight Index (CCDFI) and the China Import Crude Oil Tanker Freight Index (CTFI).
      • SinoShip News: The global platform for Chinese Shipping. SinoShip News is part of SinoShip, the hub for all things China maritime including finance, offshore, logistics and statistics.
      • China Shipping Database: Launched in December 2012 and operated by Shanghai International Shipping Institute (SISI), the database is an information public service platform integrating data and other information resources regarding China shipping and port industry.
      • Shipping Gazette: Founded in 1982 and based in Hong Kong, ShippingGazette.com is logistics website dedicated to providing up-to-date information to shipping information to shippers and forwarders.

Sources: Chinese Government’s Official Web Portal , World Port SourceWorld Shipping Council, and American Association of Port Authorities