The 10 Largest Ports in China

The largest ports in China have grown with China’s exports over the past few decades, with the 10 largest ports in China now among the biggest in the world. Of the world’s 50 biggest ports, China now boasts 12 of them and 5 of the top 10! But which of the 172 ports on mainland China is good for you?  Here’s a rundown of China’s 10 biggest ports.

largest ports in china

China has major ports all along its eastern coast.


1. Shanghai

largest ports in chinaInternational Rank (2011) – 1st
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 31.74 (2010 – 29.07)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 534,371 (1st)
Location – Shanghai Municipality, Eastern China

The port of Shanghai is the world’s busiest and its volume is still increasing rapidly.  It is perhaps the most important port for foreign trade as it located near to the innumerable factories of neighbouring Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan and Zhejiang provinces.


2. Shenzhen

largest ports in chinaInternational Rank (2011) – 4th
Volume (Million-TEUS) in 2011 – 22.62 (2010 – 22.51)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 204,860 (13th)
Location – Guangdong Province, Southern China

The port of Shenzhen is the gateway to Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, making it another key port in China as it connects China’s southern hinterland to the world.


3. Ningbo-Zhoushan

International Rank (2011) – 6th
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 14.72 (2010 – 13.14)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 408,150 (5th)
Location – Zhejiang Province, Eastern China

Ningbo-Zhoushan port is heavily involved in the shipping of raw materials, manufactured goods and cargo into and out of China. Like the port of Shanghai it is also close to China’s developed Eastern provinces and is located next to the Yangtze.

4. Port of Guangzhou

International Rank (2011) – 7th
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 14.26 (2010 – 12.55)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 425,600 (4th)
Location – Guangdong province, Southern China

The port of Guangzhou transports goods to and from nearby Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Sichuan and Yunan provinces, as well as Guangzhou itself and ships many agricultural, industrial and manufactured products.

5. Qingdao

largest ports in chinaInternational Rank (2011) – 8th
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 13.02 (2010 – 12.01)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 350,120 (7th)
Location – Shangdong, Eastern China

Located on the Yellow Sea, the port of Qingdao serves Shandong province and in 2011 entered into an alliance with the largest port in South Korea and three other Chinese ports in order to create a shipping and logistics centre in Northeast Asia.


6. Tianjin

largest ports in chinaInternational Rank (2011) – 11th
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 11.59 (2010 – 10.08)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 400,000 (6th)
Location – Tianjin Municipality, Northern China

The port of Tianjin is one of the best connected ports in China, as it is linked to 21 other cities and districts via its dry ports. With its location so close to Beijing and the Northern central provinces, it is able to serve areas from China’s very North West in Xinjiang, to the North East of Inner Mongolia.


7. Xiamen

International Rank (2011) – 19th
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 6.47 (2010 – 5.82)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 127,281 (26th)
Location – Fujian Province, Southeastern China

The port of Xiamen sits in the mouth of the Jiulongjiang River and has over 68 shipping routes, shipping to over 50 countries and has strong links with Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

8. Dalian

International Rank (2011) – 20th
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 6.40 (2010 – 5.24)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – 200,000 (14th)
Location – Liaoning Province, North-eastern China

The port of Dalian is the most northern ice free port in China and is the largest port in North East China with links to ports in over 160 countries.  It also serves seaports in East Asia, North Asia and the Pacific Rim.


9. Lianyungang

International Rank (2011) – 26thlargest ports in china
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011
– 4.85 (2010 – 3.87)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – unknown (unknown)
Location – Jiangsu Province, Eastern China

Lianyungang has been an important gateway into China for centuries as it was one of the ports originally opened to foreign trade by the Qing. It is now among the world’s biggest ports and largely serves the provinces of Shandong and Jiangsu.

10. Suzhou

International Rank (2011) – 28th
Volume (Million-TEUS) 2011 – 4.69 (2010 -3.64)
Volume in Thousands of Tons (International rank) – Unknown (Unknown)
Location – Jiangsu Province, Eastern China

The port of Suzhou is the largest inland river port in China and mostly transports coal, ore, steel and construction materials, thus making it a very important inland transport hub.

So no matter where you are sourcing from in China, you’re never too far from one of the world’s largest and most productive ports ready to ship your products into or out of China.

I do hope that this information about largest ports in China has been useful to you, and please feel free to share which port you use in the comments section.




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