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Jebel Ali returns to top-10 busiest container ports - Container News

Alphaliner's report said the Middle East’s largest container port, Dubai/Jebel Ali, has re-entered the top 10 ranking of global container ports, overtaking Europe’s biggest port and demonstrating the scale of the economic slump in Europe.

Jebel Ali processed 14.47 million TEUs in 2023, up from 13.97 million TEU in 2022, enabling the UAE port to return to the top 10 after dropping out in 2019. Its rise also knocked out the languishing Hong Kong port from the top 10 list, as the territory’s container throughput declined 14% year-on-year, to 14.34 million TEUs.

Hong Kong posted its seventh year of consecutive volume declines and has now lost a third of its container traffic over the past decade.

Rotterdam had moved ahead of Dubai in 2019, but lost 7% in container volumes in 2023, having handled 13.45 million TEUs, posting a second consecutive year of decrease. Due to sanctions, the Dutch port has been hit by the near-total loss of Russian cargo and Europe’s recession has meant a major contraction in European consumer demand. Volumes are now 9% below 2019 levels.

China’s ports recorded another strong year of growth with Qingdao recording the highest increase of any major gateway worldwide. It handled an estimated 30 million TEUs in 2023 (December 2023 figure estimated following a change in Chinese reporting rules) and is now vying with Shenzhen, which handled 29.9 million TEUs, for the position of fourth largest container port in the world.

Alphaliner remarked, “Chinese growth is not expected to be as robust in 2024, with Western demand weakening in the fourth quarter, although exports to Russia remain strong. Nevertheless, China’s grip on the global market tightened in 2023, comprising more than half (51%) of the top 30 market throughput versus 49% in 2022. Overall, the top 30 ports recorded average growth of 1.7% during the year, an improvement in 2022.”

To read it in The Container News : click here