Main shipping trade routes across the world

Maritime shipping is key to how the world works. International trade is what makes it possible to have access to so many goods all over the globe and it’s mainly done by sea. We all know that most things we are surrounded by come from other countries like China, Japan, Germany, etc. But, have you ever thought about which shipping trade routes are the most used ones to ensure timely delivery? Let’s take a look.

Trade routes are one of the main factors in the shipping process. They determine the terms and the time it takes to get to the destination, as well as they set the pricing. So, all players of the supply chain must be aware of which are the main trade routes in order to grow. These are where top carriers move along, but, are the top container ports also related to this ranking?

Let’s see which are the world’s main shipping trade routes.

world shipping routes

Source: Geopolitical Futures

According to the World Shipping Council and based on the 2017 behavior, the top trade routes are:

  1. Asia – North America: 26.57 million TEU shipped.
  2. Asia – North Europe: 15.06 million TEU shipped.
  3. Asia – Mediterranean: 7.91 million TEU shipped.
  4. Asia – Middle East: 4.74 million TEU shipped.
  5. North Europe – North America: 5.40 million TEU shipped.
  6. Asia – East Coast South America: 2.07 million TEU shipped.
  7. North Europe / Mediterranean – East Coast South America: 1.68 million TEU shipped.
  8. North America – East Coast South America: 1.27 million TEU shipped.
working with major trade routes

It isn’t surprising to see the Asian continent leading the main trade routes since 70% of the world’s top ports are located in China. This only highlights the relevance of this country to international trade and logistics. It has experienced a significant growth that has changed the market for good and it is now the major provider of the whole world. It is truly an example for the industry to learn what innovation and determination can accomplish.