Chinese ports: Celestial Empire for cargo

Chinese ports: Celestial Empire for cargo

Often referred to as the world’s factory, China produces or assembles countless goods for export in many industries. Not surprisingly, China is the world’s largest container market, and its ports play a crucial role in international trade.

With 150+ major and 1,800+ minor ports, China is the global supply chain hub. Popular ports in China include Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Yantian, Qiwan, etc.

Empire of ports for cargo transportation

Want to ship your cargo from China? Here are some of China’s top ports with information on their shipping operations, container handling capacity, and services.

Shanghai Port

The largest and busiest port in the world, Shanghai handles more than 25% of the world’s shipping. The Port of Shanghai has maintained its lead in container throughput for 11 consecutive years.

Founded in 1842, the port is located in the Yangtze River Delta and is managed by the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG).

With a deep-water and river port, Shanghai Port handles more than 2,000 ships every month. It offers integrated container services such as stevedore, freight forwarding, storage and warehousing, distribution, port logistics, and cargo handling.

Shanghai Port, one of the leading transshipment centers in China, has three container terminals: Yangshan, Wusongkou, and Waigaoqiao. Yangshan is the largest cargo terminal in the world. It has a 20 km dam with 125 berths.

The Port of Shanghai is equipped to handle all domestic and international cargo types, but its main imports and exports include coal, metal, steel, petroleum, and machinery parts.

Ningbo Port

Ningbo Port is China’s second busiest port and the world’s third-largest port. After the merger of Ningbo and Zhoushan ports in 2006, the port was officially called Ningbo-Zhoushan port.

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port is the world’s largest port in terms of cargo traffic.

Located in East China’s Zhejiang Province, Ningbo Port is a deep-water port that connects 260 container routes and 600 ports. It has 19 port districts, including Beilong (seaport), Zhenghai (estuary port), Ningbo (inland river port), Daxi, and Meishan.

Due to its location in the middle of the Chinese coast, Ningbo is one of the ports with the highest traffic density, especially for ocean containers going through mainland China to and from the Pacific Ocean.

Ningbo Port has 170 large berths of over 10,000 tons, 100 super-large deep-water berths of over 50,000 tons, and 620 production berths. With its cargo and container handling capacity, it is China’s largest transit port for large container ships.

Regarding trade, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port is the most extensive transit base for iron ore and crude oil. It is also a major center for storing and transporting coal, liquid chemicals, and grain.

Shenzhen Port

The port of Shenzhen connects Southern China with the rest of the country. It is the world’s fourth-largest seaport and China’s third-largest port.

Founded in 1980, it is located in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province.

The Kowloon Peninsula divides the port of Shenzhen into two parts. The western port is a deep-water port connected to inland waterways, while the eastern port is a natural harbor for large container ships. The port is also connected to the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor (SWC) for road freight.

It is classified into different zones depending on the types of cargo – the main trading zones are Yantian, Shekou, Qiwan, Nanshan, and Da Chang Bay.

Yantian Port is the best port of call for large container ships, with an 8-kilometer quay, 16 container berths, and 200-yard cranes. It is also the cheapest option to import into the USA.

Shenzhen Port has 140 berths handling 550+ vessels per month. Major exports from Shenzhen include medical equipment, tableware, chemicals, machine parts, and plastic molds.

Shenzhen Port aims to prioritize container traffic and increase its throughput capacity to 33 million TEUs by 2025.

Port of Qingdao

Founded in 1982, Qingdao is the seventh-largest port globally. It is located in Shandong Province and is one of the best natural harbors in the Yellow Sea for international trade.

Qingdao Port has four main port areas: Qingdao Qianwan (Container Terminal), Huangdao or Guangdong (Oil Port Area), Dongjiakou, and Dagan.

As a transshipment hub along the western Pacific coast, port areas are well equipped to handle various types of containers and cargo, including crude oil, metal ore, and coal. Qingdao Container Terminal has special facilities for handling and storing iron ore.

With its natural deep-water ports and advanced technology, Qingdao Port provides world-class logistics services such as stevedoring, port support services, fully automated container terminals, single-car unloading, storage, distribution, and other value-added services.

Qingdao Port is part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) to facilitate trade between Southeast Asia, East Africa, the Mediterranean region, and Central Europe – along the same lines as the ancient Silk Road.

Port of Tianjin

The Port of Tianjin is the gateway to China’s capital, Beijing. Formerly known as Tanggu Port, it is the largest port in northern China and the largest manufactured port in the world.

Tianjin Port started as a non-container cargo terminal in 1968 and later expanded to provide container handling services in 1980. It is currently the ninth-largest global port regarding cargo traffic, with a throughput of 20 million TEUs per year.

Due to its location at the junction of the Beijing-Tianjin urban belt and the Bohai-Rim economic trade region, the port is an international transshipment hub serving 14 provinces through 120+ container lines.

The port has four terminals for handling containers. Tianjin Port Container Terminal (TCT) is the largest, with 13 container berths and a berth length of 3.5 km. It also has dedicated terminals for handling coal, coal fuel, metal ore, and crude oil. Other cargo includes cars, bulk cargo, and general cargo.

Other major Chinese ports

In addition to the ports listed above, other popular ports in China include:

  • Port of Guangzhou (5th largest port in the world)
  • Port of Hong Kong (8th largest port in the world)
  • Port of Xiamen
  • Port of Dalian
  • Port of Lianyungang
  • Port of Yantai
  • Port of Rizhao
  • Port of Yingkou
  • Port of Jinzhou


With the booming e-commerce industry expected to grow in the coming decade, China’s ports will continue to expand and develop trade, services, and transportation. Increased container transportation and cargo from China will contribute to global economic growth.

Huge production capacity and modern equipment make China one of the leaders in creating consumer goods, appliances, and other things in demand. International transportation from China to the USA is a popular way of shipping goods – export profitably by supplying the US market with high-quality products at a reasonable price.

We are shipping goods from China to the USA with PartnerTrade – optimal solutions, the route’s flexibility, and transportation reliability. We transport cargo from China from the major ports of Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Fuzhou, and Ningbo.

Our experience and capabilities allow us to provide high-quality and reliable transportation of any cargo from China to the USA.

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