Record 4.2 Million TEUs Handled at Shanghai in October

record container volume at Shanghai
(file photo)

Published Nov 4, 2020 1:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

The port of Shanghai, China reaffirmed its position as the world’s busiest container port last month setting a new record for the total number of boxes handled. This comes as China is reporting an overall strong rebound in port traffic and the world’s shipping lines are scrambling to meet demand.

Container throughput at Shanghai Port hit a record high of 4.2 million TEUs in October, a year-over-year increase of 15.7 percent according to official data released by the Chinese authorities. The new record exceeded July’s 3.9 million TEUs and making Shanghai the first container port to exceed the 4 million TEU mark in a single month.

The growth in Shanghai’s container volume mirrors similar overall growth in China’s total cargo volumes, which in total was also up nearly 16 percent at the major ports in October. Total container volume at China’s largest seaports was up nearly 20 percent in October.

The strong volume growth has contributed to the reports by the largest shipping lines of both a strong rebound in business as well as a dramatic tightening of availability or in some cases already being fully booked during the peak shipping season. Many of the world’s ports are reporting that they are no longer seeing blank sailings but are being asked to accommodate unscheduled additional arrivals as the carriers add sailings to their schedules.

Chinese officials pointed to a strong economic recovery as well as their efforts to mitigate the coronavirus. They noted that the port of Shanghai has invested in new technologies and the integration of operations along the Yangtze. The officials also pointed to the ongoing efforts on the fourth phase of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, the world's largest automated cargo terminal.

For all of 2019, the Shanghai International Port (Group) reported that the port achieved a record high container traffic with 42 million TEU in throughput. That was about four percent higher than in 2018, enough to maintain Shanghai's status as the world's busiest container port for the ninth year in a row.