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Shanghai becomes the largest port

For almost five years Singapore retained the number one position among the world’s top container ports but in 2010 Shanghai finally overtook Singapore to become the leading box port. Its throughput in 2010 reached 29.1 million TEUs, whereas Singapore handled 28.4 million TEUs, reported The Hindu on April 24, 2011.

“The only Indian port that finds a place among the top 30 container ports is the JN Port in New Mumbai”, states report. Its position slipped from 24 to 25 in 2010 in spite of handling 4.28 million TEUs (twenty feet equivalent unit) and registering a growth of 10.9% over the previous year.

According to data released by Containerisation International London in March 2011, Shanghai recorded a 16% growth over its traffic volumes in 2009. Singapore registered an increase of 9.9% over the year-ago level.

The fast paced growth of Shanghai is difficult to be replaced by Singapore in the near future for two main reasons. One, WTO’s preliminary data suggest that China is the largest exporter and two, it was also the second largest importer in the world. Another Chinese port Shenzen stood at position 4 compared to Hong Kong at number 3.

In the year 2010-11, two ports in India exceeded the one million TEU mark for the first time ever. These ports include Chennai and Mundra—which belongs to the private sector. India’s container traffic grew by about 15% annually and can be considered impressive. However, the infrastructure development in India has been poor. Land acquisition has been the major bottleneck in its development. Government policies also need to be more supportive and regulatory framework needs to improve in order to be able to achive the Maritime Agenda 2010-20, set by the government.

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