The 10 Main Sea Ports in China

The 10 Main Sea Ports in China
The 10 Main Sea Ports in China

China is home to 10 of the world’s busiest shipping ports, supporting its role as one of the world’s largest manufacturing economies.

Understanding China’s ports can help you make informed decisions about shipping and other logistics that you likely will face when doing business with a Chinese company.

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Given China’s immense manufacturing economy, it will come as no surprise that the country relies on its shipping ports as primary gateways for importing and exporting goods. Globally, eight of the world’s 17 busiest shipping ports are in Mainland China; adding Taiwan and Hong Kong raises that tally to 10.

In this article we provide an overview of these 10 primary Chinese shipping ports based on container shipping. Almost all are located along China’s eastern coast, stretching from Dalian (north) to Shenzhen (south), spanning the Yellow, East China, and South China Seas. Nine of the shipping ports in China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) are located in coastal cities, with the Port of Guangzhou located at the intersection of three important rivers: the Dongjiang, Xijiang and Beijiang Rivers, each of which have the waterway, railway, expressway and air lines intersecting and forming a critical transportation hub. In addition, seven of these main Chinese ports overlap with six Chinese Free Trade Zones, and also are located in the majority of the provinces where foreign companies are conducting business.

PortTerminals and portsOperatorWebsiteKey facts
ShanghaiYangshan Deep Water Port
Waigaoqiao Shipping Terminals
Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd.• Became the world’s busiest container port in 2010 (displacing the Port of Singapore)
• Handles 35 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) container per year
ShenzhenYantian Port (East)
Chiwan Port (West)
Dachan Bay Port (West)
Shekou Port (West)
Shenzhen Yantian Port Holdings
China Merchants Port Group
• Comprises many ports Known for high tech and new industries
NingboBeilun Port
Zhenhai Port
Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group Co., Ltd.• Approximately 150 km south of Shanghai
• Includes crude oil terminals and ore loading berths•
QingdaoDagang Port Area
Qianwan Container Terminal
Qingdao Port (Group) Co., Ltd.• Known for beer production (Tsingtao)
• A prosperous province in China’s economy
GuangzhouNansha Terminal, Xinsha Port Area, Huangpu Port Area, Downtown Port AreaGuangzhou Port Group Co.,• Approximately 150 km northwest of Hong Kong
• Intersection of the Dongjiang, Xijiang and Beijiang rivers, making it the main port of the Pearl River Delta region
TianjinNorth Port
South Port
East Port
Tianjin Port (Group) Co.,• 150 km south of Beijing
• One of China’s 4 municipalities (Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing)
DalianDayaowan PortDalian Port Group Co.,• Port that is furthest north in our list
• Borders North Korea
XiamenHaicang Port Area
Dongdu Port Area
Xiamen Port Holding• Primary port handling trade between Mainland China and Taiwan
Hong KongKwai Tsing Container TerminalsModern Terminals Limited
Hongkong International Terminals Limited
China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company
DP World
Asia Container Terminals Ltd.
• Previously the world’s busiest container port before being supplanted by Singapore and then Shanghai
• Remains the gateway to Mainland China 9 container terminals at Port of Hong Kong
Kaohsiung (Taiwan)Zhongxing TerminalTaiwan International Ports Corporation Ltd., Kaohsiung• Located in Taiwan’s second city
• Handles 10 million TEUs annually

Additional Resources

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