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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How People Around the World Feel About Their Economic Prospects

In many of the world’s largest economies, including the U.S., Germany, and China, optimism around economic prospects sits at an all-time low.

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economic prospects of people around the world

The Briefing

  • Economic prospects are at an all-time low in nine countries, including the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, and China
  • China and the U.S. experienced the biggest year-over-year drops, at -8 p.p. and -6 p.p., respectively

How Countries Feel About Their Economic Prospects

Each year, the Edelman Trust Barometer report helps gauge the level of trust people place in various systems of power.

The report is also a useful tool to gauge the general mood in countries around the world—and when it comes to how people in developed economies feel about the near future, there’s a very clear answer: pessimistic. In fact, optimism about respondents’ economic prospects fell in the majority of countries surveyed.

Here’s a full look how many respondents in 28 countries feel they and their families will be doing better over the next five years. Or, put more simply, what percentage of people are optimistic about their economic circumstances?

Country% who are optimisticAll-time low?Change from 2021 (p.p.)
🇯🇵 Japan15%-1
🇫🇷 France18%-1
🇩🇪 Germany22%-2
🇮🇹 Italy27%0
🇳🇱 Netherlands29%-1
🇬🇧 UK30%+2
🇷🇺 Russia31%+1
🇨🇦 Canada34%-1
🇪🇸 Spain36%+1
🇰🇷 South Korea39%+6
🇺🇸 U.S.40%-6
🇦🇺 Australia41%-2
🇮🇪 Ireland42%-1
🇸🇬 Singapore43%-1
🌐 Global51%0
🇲🇾 Malaysia55%0
🇦🇷 Argentina60%-2
🇹🇭 Thailand60%-2
🇨🇳 China64%-8
🇿🇦 South Africa66%-2
🇲🇽 Mexico68%-1
🇧🇷 Brazil73%0
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia73%0
🇦🇪 UAE78%+6
🇮🇳 India80%0
🇮🇩 Indonesia81%+11
🇨🇴 Colombia83%-1
🇳🇬 Nigeria87%n/a
🇰🇪 Kenya91%-2

Interestingly, nine countries (those with checkmarks above) are polling at all-time lows for economic optimism in survey history.

Whose Glass is Half Empty?

Japanese respondents were the most pessimistic, with only 15% seeing positive economic prospects in the near term. Only 18% of French respondents were economically optimistic.

While most developed economies were slightly more optimistic than Japan and France, all are still well below the global average.

As tensions between China and the U.S. continue to heat up in 2022, there is one thing that can unite citizens in the two countries—a general feeling that economic prospects are souring. As the U.S. heads into midterm elections and China’s 20th National Party Congress takes place, leaders in both countries will surely have the economy on their minds.

Whose Glass is Half Full?

Of course, the mood isn’t all doom and gloom everywhere. The United Arab Emirates saw a 6 percentage point (p.p.) jump in their population’s economic prospects.

Indonesia saw an 11 p.p. increase, and in big developing economies like Brazil and India, the general level of optimism is still quite high.

In some ways, it’s no surprise that people in developing economies are more optimistic about their economic prospects. Living standards are generally rising in many of these countries, and more opportunities open up as the economy grows. Even in the most pessimistic African country surveyed, South Africa, the majority of people still see improving circumstances in their near future. In Kenya and Nigeria, an overwhelming majority are optimistic.

Diverging Outcomes

One major prediction that experts agreed on for the year ahead is that economic outcomes will begin to diverge between countries with differing levels of vaccine access.

While this doesn’t seem to have affected attitudes towards economic optimism yet, it remains to be seen how this will play out as the year progresses.

Where does this data come from?

Source: 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer

Data notes: This data is derived from Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer survey, which includes 30,000+ respondents in countries around the world.

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The Accelerating Frequency of Extreme Weather

Extreme weather events, like droughts and heatwaves, have become more common over the years. But things are expected to get worse.

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Extreme Weather Events

The Briefing

  • We’re already seeing the impact of climate change—today, droughts, heatwaves, and extreme rainstorms are 2x more frequent than they were a century ago
  • In less than a decade, Earth’s climate is expected to warm another 0.5°C
  • If this happens, heatwaves will be 4.1x more frequent than they were in the 1850-1900s

The Accelerating Frequency of Extreme Weather

The world is already witnessing the effects of climate change.

A few months ago, the western U.S. experienced one of the worst droughts it’s seen in the last 20 years. At the same time, southern Europe roasted in an extreme heatwave, with temperatures reaching 45°C in some parts.

But things are only expected to get worse in the near future. Here’s a look at how much extreme climate events have changed over the last 200 years, and what’s to come if global temperatures keep rising.

A Century of Warming

The global surface temperature has increased by about 1°C since the 1850s. And according to the IPCC, this warming has been indisputably caused by human influence.

As the global temperatures have risen, the frequency of extreme weather events have increased along with it. Heatwaves, droughts and extreme rainstorms used to happen once in a decade on average, but now:

  • Heatwaves are 2.8x more frequent
  • Droughts are 1.7x more frequent
  • Extreme rainstorms are 1.3x more frequent

By 2030, the global surface temperature is expected to rise 1.5°C above the Earth’s baseline temperature, which means that:

  • Heatwaves would be 4.1x more frequent
  • Droughts would be 2x more frequent
  • Extreme rainstorms would be 1.5x more frequent

The Ripple Effects of Extreme Weather

Extreme weather events have far-reaching impacts on communities, especially when they cause critical system failures.

Mass infrastructure breakdowns during Hurricane Ida this year caused widespread power outages in the state of Louisiana that lasted for several days. In 2020, wildfires in Syria devastated hundreds of villages and injured dozens of civilians with skin burns and breathing complications.

As extreme weather events continue to increase in frequency, and communities become increasingly more at risk, sound infrastructure is becoming more important than ever.

Where does this data come from?

Source: IPCC
Details: The data used in this graphic is from the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which provides a high-level summary of the state of the climate, how it’s changing, and the role of human influence.

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