Shanghai – China

The Port of Shanghai is China’s most populous city, the world’s second busiest seaport, and one of the world’s largest cities by area. Located on the mouth of the Yangtze River in east central China off the East China Sea, the Port of Shanghai is a municipality with province status in the People’s Republic of China. The Port of Shanghai is about 421 kilometers southeast of the Port of Lianyungang and about 430 nautical miles north of the Port of Taipeiin Taiwan. The Port of Shanghai is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In 2002, over 16.2 million people lived in the Port of Shanghai municipality.

Each month, over two thousand container ships leave the Port of Shanghai carrying their cargo to the world’s major continents and markets. Containers are the heart of the Port of Shanghai’s business.

In 2006, the Port of Shanghai became the world’s third-largest container port when it achieved a container throughput of 21.71m TEU. In 2006 it handled 537 million tonnes of cargo, which was 21.1% higher than the previous year’s figure.

Total throughput for 2007, including 560 million tonnes of cargo, was over 26 million TEU. In 2008, the port handled 582 million tonnes of cargo and 28 million TEU, increases of 3.2% and 7%, respectively, over the previous year. In 2008, the port handled nearly 62,000 domestic and international ships. Cargo throughput registered by the port in 2009 was 590 million tonnes.


 The Port of Shanghai contains three major container areas: Wusongkou, Waigaoqiao, and Yangshan.

The Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) operates 125 berths in the Port of Shanghai with a total quay length of about 20 kilometers. Of the total, 82 Port of Shanghai berths can accommodate vessels of 10 thousand DWT and above. SIPG owns public bulk, breakbulk, specialized roll-on/roll-off, and cruise terminals within the Port of Shanghai. It operates a total of 293 thousand square meters of warehouses and over 4.7 million square meters of storage yards. It also owns 5143 units of cargo-handling equipment.

Wusongkou, Waigaoqiao and Yangshan are the three main container port areas of the Port of Shanghai. The Wusongkou area is managed by Shanghai Container Terminals Company (SCT), a joint venture of Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) and SIPG. Zhanghuabang Terminal, Jungong Road Terminal and Baoshan Terminal are the three container terminals operated by SCT. The facilities provided by the company include: container cleaning and management, storage and transport, inland goods storage and electronic data interchange.

The Waigaoqiao area is operated by Shanghai Pudong International Container Terminals, SIPG Zhendong Container Terminal Branch, Shanghai East Container Terminal Company and Shanghai Mingdong Container Terminals Limited. Shanghai Pudong operates in a 500,000m² area and has 147 container handling equipment and machinery, 36 RTG, ten quay cranes, 73 container trucks and 11 forklifts. Shanghai Mingdong facilitates container handling, storage and transfer. Other works carried out by the company include maintaining, cleaning and stripping of containers.

Shanghai Shengdong International Container Terminal Company is responsible for operating Yangshan Deepwater Port. The port’s activities are carried out by 34 container quay cranes and 120 RTG. The terminal can handle containerised cargo of 2.2m TEU. The port is also facilitated by non-container terminals located on the Huangpu River. These terminals act as distribution centres for the remote areas of the port and contribute in the financial development of Yangtze River Valley.

Due to insufficient water depth at the port’s mainland, Yangshan Deepwater Port is being developed in four phases. This deepwater port, which is located in the East China Sea, is 30km from the mainland and a 32.5km long bridge connects it to the mainland.

Phase I terminal, which was opened in December 2005, was completed at an investment of $7.5bn. The terminal operates at a water depth of 16m and has five births. In the first year of its construction, the terminal handled 3.1 million TEU.

Phase II of the terminal was built with an investment of $7bn and opened for operation in December 2006. The terminal, which is capable of handling 2.1 million TEU, uses four berths. Phase III and IV are expected to be completed by 2010 and 2012, respectively. By 2012, the deepwater port will have 30 births and will be capable of handling 15 million TEU.


From the 5th to 7th Centuries AD, the area of today’s Port of Shanghai was known as Shen or Hudu.  The Port of Shanghai began to develop during the Ming Dynasty. A city wall was constructed in 1554 to protect the town from Japanese pirates, and the City God Temple was built in 1602. Recognizing the town’s economic importance, these two events did much to promote development.

By 1735, the Port of Shanghai became the Yangtze region’s most important seaport due to two significant factors. During the Qing Dynasty in 1684, the port was allowed to accept ocean-going vessels, and Shanghai gained exclusive control over customs collections for all foreign trade in Jiangsu Province.

In the 19th Century, the Port of Shanghai’s importance grew tremendously. It occupied a valuable strategic position for trade with the West. The British held the Port of Shanghai briefly during the First Opium War. When the war ended with the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, the Port of Shanghai became one of the treaty ports open for international trade. Further agreements, the Treaty of the Bogue (1843) and the Sino-American Treaty of Wangsai (1844), exempted foreign powers from local laws and began the era of foreign concessions. The Port of Shanghai became an official municipality in 1927 under the Republic of China, but the foreign communities were still exempted from Chinese control.

In early 1932, the Japanese bombed the Port of Shanghai, ostensibly in response to student protects of the occupation of northeast China. In 1937, the Battle of Shanghai ended in Japan’s occupation of the non-foreign areas of Shanghai, and the Japanese occupied the International Settlement in 1941, holding it until 1945. In 1949, the People’s Liberation Army, controlled by China’s Communist Party, took control of the Port of Shanghai, and most foreign interests moved to Hong Kong.

During the middle 20th Century, the Port of Shanghai grew into a busy industrial center and a strong supporter of the people’s revolution. Even through the difficult years of the Cultural Revolution, the Port of Shanghai continued to be economically productive and socially stable. Throughout most of the People’s Republic (Chinese) history, the Port of Shanghai has been the most significant contributor of tax revenues in China.

The Port of Shanghai’s contributions to the economy of the nation came at a high price for the city. The Port of Shanghai infrastructure deteriorated, and further development was severely limited. Because the Port of Shanghai was so important to China’s economy, it was not afforded many of the economic liberalizations that other areas received in the middle 1980s. Finally, in 1991, the Port of Shanghai was given permission to implement economic reforms. This began today’s era of economic and building booms.

WPS – Port of Shanghai
Shanghai International Port


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