World’s Largest Container Port Clusters, 2016

World’s Largest Container Port Clusters, 2016

Note: The port density is calculated using the kernel density method that calculates the density of ports within a radius of 100km and weighted by their respective traffic in TEU.

Container port activity shows a high clustering level as 62% of all the activity is accounted for by 22 clusters. Clusters allow at the same time a high level of inter-port competition as well as a complementarity of options to service hinterlands. The two most important container port clusters globally are the Yangtze River Delta (Central China) and the Pearl River Delta (Southern China) that jointly account for about 20% of all the throughput. The importance of these port clusters is associated with the clustering of manufacturing and logistics activities of their hinterland. Other clusters such as the Strait of Malacca and Dubai / Gulf are mainly the outcome of shipping lines selecting transshipment hubs. Containerization has allowed for the setting of massive economies of scale and agglomeration that have become prevalent in port geography.