Source: Containerization International.
World Top 20 Container Ports, 2008 (Millions of TEUs)
From the early 1990s to the early 21st century, containerized traffic tripled to surpass 500 million TEU for the first time in 2008. This surge is concomitantly linked with the growth of international trade in addition to the adoption of containerization as the privileged vector for maritime shipping and inland transportation. The world's largest container ports underline the intricate relationships between export-oriented ports (e.g. Shanghai and Hong Kong), import-oriented ports (e.g. Los Angeles / Long Beach) and intermediary hubs (e.g. Singapore and Dubai). The top 20 container ports account for more that half of the global container traffic, with three mega port systems; Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong / Shenzhen.