Source: Drewry Shipping Consultants.
Port TEU Movements, 1980-2012
The growth of containers handled by ports has been remarkable. The composition of this growth reveals a growing share of the function of transshipment and an enduring share of the movement of empty containers in the range of 20.8% of all containers handled. The composition of empties varies by shipping route with the westbound transpacific route among those with the highest share of empties. While the transshipment incidence was around 17.6% in 1990, it climbed to more than 28% in 2012. This reflects a growing complexity of the maritime network and the trade interactions it supports.