Shanghai world’s busiest port, sails past Singapore

Bloomberg

Sun, Jan 09, 2011 - Page 11

Shanghai surpassed Singapore in container traffic last year, making China’s wealthiest city the world’s busiest port as the country churns out more export goods and boosts trade volumes.

Traffic last year rose to 29.05 million, 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs, the Shanghai municipal government said in a media release on its Web site. That’s about 500,000 TEUs more than Singapore, the release said.

Shanghai’s emergence as the busiest port underscores the impact of China’s sustained economic growth on global trade patterns.

The world’s second-largest economy expanded at an average 11.4 percent pace over the past five years, overtaking Germany in 2009 to become the largest exporter. China is also the most populous nation and world’s largest metals consumer.

Container traffic in Singapore rose 9.9 percent to 28.4 million TEUs last year, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said on Thursday. Shanghai’s 2009 volumes totaled 25 million TEUs, the port’s operator said previously.

The increase in Shanghai’s container traffic was driven by the growing domestic economy, the recovery in Europe and the US and the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, the municipal government’s statement on Wednesday said.

Singapore became the world’s busiest container port in 2005 after predecessor Hong Kong lost out to cheaper harbors in southern China.

The Shanghai government will press on with a trial of export-tax refunds and may expand the exercise while improving infrastructure, including building a tunnel, to help improve the port’s road traffic, the media statement said.