Source: Adapted from Menon Consulting (2022), Maritime Capitals of the World. Note: The lower the score, the higher the ranking. Each selected city was ranked according to a series of ranking criteria within five major categories (Shipping centers, maritime finance and law, ports and logistics, maritime technology and competitiveness). The index is the unweighted summation of the average score for each category.
Correlating the Maritime Capitals Index with traffic in TEU for 2020 can be an indication of the level of physical connectivity between the city and the port. For several port cities, the TEU figures are regionalized (Tianjin traffic is accounted for Beijing; Le Havre for Paris, Pireaus for Athens). Cities that are above the trend are more logistically-oriented while cities below the trend tend to be more service-oriented. Four categories can be identified:
- A. First tier maritime capitals deeply connected to maritime shipping. Singapore and Shanghai are two maritime capitals the most associated with physical port traffic and its associated logistics segments. Still a distinction must be made between gateway and transshipment actitivities since maritime capitals such as Singapore, Busan and Dubai are handling subtantial intermediary cargoes that are not processed within their logistical clusters. Cities such as Shanghai, Rotterdam, Guangzhou and Antwerp are major gateways with a strong logistical component.
- B. First tier maritime capitals that are highly connected to shipping, but with many having evolved towards maritime services, particularly ownership, finance, insurance and management. The majority are still major ports (Hamburg, New York, Athens), but others (London, Olslo, Copenhagen) have limited maritime activity and focus on maritime services. For Houston, the specialization in other port activities such as petrochemicals does not fully reflects its importance as a port.
- C. Emerging maritime capitals deeply connected to shipping. They tend to have a more recent history of container port activity and the maritime service sector is not proportional to the level of port activity. Maritime capitals such as Ningbo, Qingdao and Los Angeles are major cargo gateways, but do not have a proportional complex maritime service ecosystem.
- D. Lower tier maritime capitals that can be separated by a higher propensity towards services (lower triangle) or towards cargo handling (upper triangle). The effect of transshipment is noted for capitals such as Panama City, Colombo and Valencia.