The Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan is a Chinese port that is the busiest in the world in terms of cargo tonnage, it handled 888.96 million tons cargoes in 2015, and keep ranking first of all the cargo ports around the world. The port is located in Ningbo and Zhoushan, on the coast of the East China Sea, in Zhejiang province south of Hangzhou Bay, across which it faces Jiaxing and Shanghai.
The port is at the crossroads of the north-south inland and coastal shipping route, including canals to the important inland waterway to interior China, the Yangtze River, to the north. The port comprises several ports which are Beilun (seaport), Zhenhai (estuary port), and old Ningbo harbor (inland river port).
The operator of the port, Ningbo Zhoushan Port Co., Ltd. (NZP), is a listed company, but it is 76.31% owned by state-owned Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group Co., Ltd., As of 30 June 2017[update].
Ningbo Port was established in 738 during China's ancient history. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), it was known as one of the three major seaports for foreign trade under the name "Mingzhou", along with Yangzhou and Guangzhou.
In the Song Dynasty, it became one of the three major port cities for foreign trade together with Guangzhou and Quanzhou. It was designated as one of the "Five Treaty Ports" along with Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Shanghai after the 1842 Treaty of Nanking ending the First Opium War.
The Port of Ningbo was merged with the neighbouring Port of Zhoushan in 2006 to form a combined cargo-handling centre. The combined Ningbo-Zhoushan Port handled a total cargo volume of 744,000,000 metric tons of cargo in 2012, making it the largest port in the world in terms of cargo tonnage, surpassing the Port of Shanghai for the first time.
The Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan is involved in economic trade with cargo shipment, raw materials and manufactured goods from as far as North and South America and Oceania. It has economic trade with over 560 ports from more than 90 countries and regions in the world. It is one of a growing number of ports in China with a cargo throughput volume exceeding 100 million tons annually.
The water quality within Ningbo-Zhoushan Port has become badly polluted over the past ten years, due to the massive scale of maritime traffic constantly in operation.
The Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan complex is a modern multi-purpose deep water port, consisting of inland, estuary, and coastal harbors. There are a total of 191 berths including 39 deep water berths with 10,000 and more tonnage.
The larger ports include a 250,000 tonnage crude oil terminal and a 200,000+ tonnage ore loading berth. There is also a purpose-built terminal for 6th generation container vessels and a 50,000 tonnage berth dedicated for liquid chemical products.