18 of the World’s Largest Ports, Not in the U.S.

THE world is changing. There is a shift in balance of distribution and cargo-handling capabilities of the world’s biggest container ports. The chart below from the Economist shows how the world is changing.

Twenty years ago in 1989, the US had 5 world’s biggest ports: Los Angeles, New York/NJ, Long Beach, Oakland and Seatle. Fast forward to 2009, Los Angeles and Long Beach are the remaining ports in the US that still maintain the container volumes – from the top 20.

The biggest shift: fourteen of the 20 world’s largest is now in Asia, with eight of the ports in China.

This cargo flow shows how connected a country to the world. Singapore, which is a small country by comparison to the U.S., is very connected to the world. And that is a sure-telling sign that requires us to rethink our business strategy differently.


image: the Economist

Correction: I wrote 14 earlier – actually it should have said “18.”


Author: Dewita

Co-founder Ecotwist Labs.

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