Vietnam’s Saigon, Hai Phong, and Cai Mep ports were among the world’s largest cargo seaports, according to the latest list of One Hundred Ports by London-based maritime news and market analysis Lloyd’s List. The list was based on 2021 global cargo data.
In a statement released by Lloyd’s List, it said, “the One Hundred Ports that made the cut this time around achieved total volume growth of more than 7% and combined container liftings of 676.1m teu — a figure that more than made up for the 2020 downturn.”
A teu or twenty-foot equivalent unit is a measure of volume in units of twenty-foot-long containers, it’s used to determine cargo capacity for container ships and terminals.
Saigon Port, which took the 22nd spot, recorded a throughput of 7.9 million teus in 2021 and a growth rate of about 1.3% compared to the previous year. “Vietnam’s biggest port holds firm in the face of sluggish national growth,” the report stated.
The northern seaport of Hai Phong (ranked 28th) earned a throughput of 5.69 million teus in 2021, with a 10.8% increase from 2020 digits, and double the volume in 2021. Other seaports in Hai Phong also experienced an increase in cargo traffic. In particular, Tan Vu port at Lach Huyen achieved the best output when more than a million teus passed last year.
South Vietnam’s Cai Mep, in Ba Ria–Vung Tau province and 50km from Ho Chi Minh City, is the third port on the list. Cai Mep reported a throughput of 5.32 million teus in 2021. The southern port was considered a bright spot in Southeast Asia, with a post-pandemic growth rate of about 22%.
Cai Mep’s impressive growth was made possible by the addition of Gemalink port (with a 25% stake in the world's most extensive shipping line CMA-CGM) into operation. The port was expected to receive about 1.4 million teus throughput by the end of this year.
Following months of difficulty for container ports globally as the COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through the sector, 2021 saw the industry getting back on its feet. The cargo industry, as well as the logistics sector, are also foreseen to make significant recoveries by the end of 2022.