Container port traffic (TEU: 20 foot equivalent units)

Definition: Port container traffic measures the flow of containers from land to sea transport modes., and vice versa, in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a standard-size container. Data refer to coastal shipping as well as international journeys. Transshipment traffic is counted as two lifts at the intermediate port (once to off-load and again as an outbound lift) and includes empty units.

Description: The map below shows how Container port traffic (TEU: 20 foot equivalent units) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is China, with a value of 181,635,200.00. The country with the lowest value in the world is Paraguay, with a value of 10,539.52.

Source: Containerisation International, Containerisation International Yearbook.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: Transport infrastructure - highways, railways, ports and waterways, and airports and air traffic control systems - and the services that flow from it are crucial to the activities of households, producers, and governments. Because performance indicators vary widely by transport mode and focus (whether physical infrastructure or the services flowing from that infrastructure), highly specialized and carefully specified indicators are required to measure a country's transport infrastructure. The sea transport industry a vital engine of global socio-economic growth. It is of vital importance for economic development, creating direct and indirect employment, supporting tourism and local businesses, and stimulating foreign investment and international trade. Economic growth, technological change, market liberalization, and oil prices affect sea transport throughout the world.

Limitations and Exceptions: Measures of port container traffic, much of it commodities of medium to high value added, give some indication of economic growth in a country. But when traffic is merely transshipment, much of the economic benefit goes to the terminal operator and ancillary services for ships and containers rather than to the country more broadly. In transshipment centers empty containers may account for as much as 40 percent of traffic. Data cover coastal shipping as well as international journeys. Transshipment traffic is counted as two lifts at the intermediate port (once to off-load and again as an outbound lift) and includes empty units. Data for transport sectors are not always internationally comparable. Unlike for demographic statistics, national income accounts, and international trade data, the collection of infrastructure data has not been "internationalized."

Statistical Concept and Methodology: TEU is the standard unit, referring to 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container. The size of cargo containers range from 20 feet long to more than 50 feet long. The international measure is the smallest box, the 20-footer or 20-foot-equivalent unit (TEU). Two twenty-foot containers (TEUs) equal one FEU. Container vessel capacity and port throughput capacity are frequently referred to in TEUs.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual