Visualizing the Size of the World's 10 Largest Shipping Hubs
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The World’s Largest Shipping Hubs

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World's Largest Shipping Hubs infographic

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The Briefing

  • The world’s 10 largest shipping hubs shipped 250 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) in 2019
  • The Asia-Pacific dominates the landscape with 9 out of 10 shipping hubs located in that region

The World’s Largest Shipping Hubs (2005-2019)

As consumers, we often overlook the complexity and sheer size of global trade that is behind the goods and services we consume everyday.

Trade accounts for roughly 60% of global GDP—and emerging markets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, have trade to thank in part for their economic growth in recent times.

When it comes to the movement of all these goods, shipping hubs are a crucial component of the trade ecosystem. The following data looks at the 10 largest global shipping hubs and their changes in throughput over time.

The 10 Largest Shipping Hubs (2005-2019, Thousands of TEUs)

Rank2005201020152019
1Singapore:
23,192
Shanghai:
29,069
Shanghai:
36,537
Shanghai:
43,303
2Hong Kong:
22,602
Singapore:
28,431
Singapore:
30,922
Singapore:
37,196
3Shanghai:
18,084
Hong Kong:
23,699
Shenzhen:
24,205
Ningbo-Zhoushan:
27,535
4Shenzhen:
16,197
Shenzhen:
22,510
Ningbo-Zhoushan:
20,627
Shenzhen:
25,769
5Busan:
11,843
Busan:
14,194
Hong Kong:
20,073
Guangzhou:
23,223
6Kaohsiung:
9,471
Ningbo-Zhoushan:
13,147
Busan:
19,469
Busan:
21,992
7Rotterdam:
9,288
Guangzhou:
12,546
Guangzhou:
17,625
Qingdao:
21,012
8Hamburg:
8,088
Qingdao:
12,012
Qingdao:
17,436
Hong Kong:
18,303
9Dubai:
7,619
Dubai:
11,600
Dubai:
15,592
Tianjin:
17,301
10Los Angeles:
7,485
Rotterdam:
11,148
Tianjin:
14,111
Rotterdam:
14,811

One of the biggest changes in recent years is the addition of the Yangshan Port in Shanghai. This massive port has already undergone four expansion phases since it opened in 2005.

Also noteworthy is Hong Kong’s falling position in this ranking. Only a decade ago, Hong Kong was the third-busiest port in the world. Today, facing fierce competition from nearby port facilities, Hong Kong sits in eighth place.

The Global Trade Machine

Trade and the transportation of goods and services are a fundamental component of the $88 trillion global economy. The value of all exports in 2019 was $24.9 trillion.

The Chinese economy continues to show immense strength, and the country is now the top trading partner of 128 countries around the world. China exported $2.6 trillion worth of goods last year, representing 18% of GDP and making them the largest exporter in the world. This economic prowess is also expressed through their enormous shipping hubs – 70% of the TEUs from the top 10 flow through China.

The aggregate volume of goods and services that move between the worlds largest shipping hubs has risen in relation to global trade figures over time, from 212 million TEUs in 2014 to 250 million in 2019.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Marine Department of Hong Kong
Notes: Latest data is as of 2019

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Charting the Continued Rise of Remote Jobs

Remote job postings are up nearly across the board, but a few key industries are have seen a significant shift over the last year.

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which industries are embracing remote work

The Briefing

  • Four industries saw massive growth in the proportion of remote-friendly job postings
  • Nearly one-third of new software and IT service jobs are listed as remote / work-from-home

Charting the Continued Rise of Remote Jobs

When the pandemic first took hold in 2020, and many workplaces around the world closed their doors, a grand experiment in work-from-home began.

Today, well over a year after the first lockdown measures were put in place, there are still lingering questions about whether remote work would now become a commonplace option, or whether things would generally return to the status quo in offices around the world.

New data from LinkedIn’s Workforce Report shows that remote work may be here to stay, and could even become the norm in a few key industries.

Broadly speaking, 12% of all Canadian paid job postings on LinkedIn offered remote work in September 2021. Prior to the pandemic, that number sat at just 1.3%.

While this data was specific to Canada, the country’s similarity to the U.S. means that these trends are likely being seen across the border as well.

Which Industries are Embracing Remote Work?

The nature of work can vary broadly by job type—for example, mining is tough to do from one’s living room sofa—so remote jobs were not distributed equally across industries.

Here are the numbers on job postings that were geared towards remote work:

Industry% Remote (Sept 2020)% Remote (Sept 2021)Change (p.p.)
Software & IT Services12.5%30.0%17.5
Media & Communications12.5%21.3%8.8
Wellness & Fitness3.3%21.2%17.9
Healthcare3.2%14.4%11.2
Nonprofit4.6%14.1%9.5
Hardware & Networking2.2%12.9%10.7
Corporate Services5.2%9.5%4.3
Education9.4%8.8%-0.6
Entertainment3.0%7.7%4.7
Finance1.8%6.5%4.7
Consumer Goods2.2%6.0%3.8
Recreation & Travel0.2%3.7%3.5
Manufacturing1.4%3.0%1.6
Energy & Mining1.0%2.7%1.7
Retail0.5%0.7%0.2

Tech and healthcare industries are showing big shifts towards remote work, with the latter being influenced by a number of tech-driven changes, including telemedicine.

Physical distancing measures forced some industries to pivot quickly. Whether virtual fitness and wellness options (e.g. Peloton and Headspace) would remain popular beyond the pandemic was a big question mark, but this jobs data seems to indicate continued digital growth in these industries.

What the Future Holds

Since COVID-19 outbreaks are still underway, the true test for this trend will be whether these numbers hold up a year or two from now. When offices and gyms are reliably open again, will companies dial back the work-from-home options?

Today, hybrid solutions are proving popular amidst worries that fully distributed teams suffer from lower levels of collaboration and communication between colleagues, and that innovation could be stifled by lack of in-person collaboration.

Of course, employees themselves are reporting being more productive and happy at home, with 98% of people wanting the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers.

It’s clear that the culture of work is undergoing an evolution today, and companies and employees will continue to seek the perfect balance of productivity and happiness.

Where does this data come from?

Source: LinkedIn’s Workforce Report for September 2021 (Canada)
Data Note: LinkedIn analyzed hundreds of thousands of paid remote job postings in Canada posted on LinkedIn between February 2020 and September 21, 2021. A “remote job” is defined as one where either the job poster explicitly labeled it as “remote” or if the job contained keywords like “work from home” in the listing.

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Print Has Prevailed: The Staying Power of Physical Books

When e-books hit the mainstream in the early 2000s, many predicted they’d eventually make print books obsolete. So far, that prediction has not come true.

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Print Books

The Briefing

  • Survey data from 10 different countries shows that a majority of people still prefer print books over e-books.
  • 42.5% of respondents purchased at least one print book in 2020—that’s significantly more than the 15.5% who’d bought at least one e-book.
  • Out of the 10 countries surveyed, Germany has the most print book lovers. 58% of German respondents bought a print book in 2020.

The Staying Power of Print Books

E-books are certainly not a new phenomenon. In fact, they’ve been around longer than the internet.

Yet, while the emergence of e-books dates back to the early 1970s, they didn’t hit the mainstream until the 2000s, when big companies began launching their own e-book readers, and digital libraries started to become more accessible to the public.

Around this time, sales for e-books started to soar, and by 2013, e-book sales made up 20% of all books sales in America. Many wondered if this was the end for print books.

But fast forward to 2021, and e-books haven’t made print books obsolete. At least, not yet.

E-book versus Print Book Purchases

A recent poll found that people still favor print books over e-books, at least when it comes to their purchasing behavior.

Of the 10 countries included in the survey, an estimated 42% of people had purchased at least one print book in 2020, while only 15.5% had bought an e-book that same year.

Here’s a look at all 10 countries, and the estimated share of their population who bought physical versus e-books in 2020:

CountryPhysical BooksE-books
🇨🇳 China32.0%24.4%
🇺🇸 United States44.5%22.7%
🇬🇧 United Kingdom48.7%20.0%
🇯🇵 Japan40.1%17.3%
🇰🇷 South Korea34.6%16.8%
🇦🇺 Australia41.2%15.9%
🇪🇸 Spain49.3%14.3%
🇩🇪 Germany58.0%10.4%
🇫🇷 France52.1%7.5%
🇮🇳 India24.5%5.6%
Average42.5%15.5%

China had the highest portion of e-book lovers—an estimated 24.4% of its population purchased an e-book in 2020, which is more than 8 percentage points higher than the average across the whole list.

On the other end of the spectrum, e-books are least popular in India, where an estimated 5.6% of the country’s population purchased an e-book in 2020. Keep in mind, the country has a lower percentage of book purchasers in general.

Why Print Has Prevailed

Why are print books still more popular than e-books? There are many theories. One study suggests that readers retain information better from a print book versus an e-book, while other consumer surveys found that e-books haven’t yet managed to fully simulate the tactile experience of a print book.

However, while e-books might not eradicate print books entirely, the market for digital books is expected to grow in the near future. By 2025, global revenue from e-books could reach $18.4 billion, with 1.2 billion users across the globe.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Statista

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