Accordingly, on the top 10 list, are also the port of Antwerp (94 points) in Belgium and Rotterdam (93 points) in the Netherlands. None of the ports in the top 20 list are from Africa, Latin America, North America or Australasia.

In light of this event, UNCTAD’s director of technology and logistics, Shamika N. Sirimanne commented

A container port’s performance is a critical factor that can determine transport costs and, by extension, trade competitiveness.

Also, Shanghai was the world’s largest container port in 2018, reaching the number spot for the ninth year in a row, after surpassing Singapore in 2010. Shanghai also surpassed Hong Kong in throughput traffic in 2007. Shanghai maintained its 4th position to the International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index 2019 issued by Xinhua and Baltic Exchange in early July.


Mr Sirimanne further noted that efficient and well connected container ports lead to frequent and direct shipping services.

In general, UNCTAD’s port Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (port LSCI) dataset revealed that:

  • The expanded Panama Canal resulted to alters in patterns of services;
  • The LSCI of New York/New Jersey and Savannah on the east coast of North America grew by more than 20% since 2016, while the leading ports on the west coast saw their LSCI stagnate;
  • Piraeus (Greece), operated by COSCO from China has become the best-connected port in the Mediterranean in 2019;
  • In Africa, the best-connected countries 'are those at its corners', Morocco, Egypt and South Africa;
  • West Africa has low connectivity;
  • Mombasa (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) connect Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda to overseas markets through dedicated corridors, but they remain highly congested;
  • Pacific Islands are among those with the lowest shipping connectivity.