In 2010, Shanghai port overtook the Port of Singapore to become the world's busiest container port. Shanghai's port handled 29.05 million TEUs, whereas Singapore's was a half million TEU's behind.
In 2016, Shanghai port set a historic record by handling over 37 million TEUs.
The Port of Shanghai faces the East China Sea to the east, and Hangzhou Bay to the south. It includes the confluences of the Yangtze River, Huangpu River (which enters the Yangtze River), and Qiantang River.
The Port of Shanghai is managed by Shanghai International Port which superseded the Shanghai Port Authority in 2003. Shanghai International Port Company Limited is a public listed company, of which the Shanghai Municipal Government owns 44.23 percent of the outstanding shares.
During the Ming dynasty, what is now the city of Shanghai was a part of Jiangsu Province (with a small part in Zhejiang Province). While Shanghai had become a county seat in the Yuan dynasty, it remained relatively a small town.
Its location at the mouth of the Yangtze River led to its development as coastal trade developed during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing dynasty. Gradually, the port of Shanghai surpassed the port of Ningbo and the port of Guangzhou to become the largest port of China at the time.
In 1842, Shanghai became a treaty port, thus developing into an international commercial city. By the early 20th century, it was the largest city and the largest port in East Asia.
In 1949, with the Communist takeover in Shanghai, overseas trade was cut dramatically. The economic policy of the People's Republic had a crippling effect on Shanghai's infrastructure and capital development.
In 1991, the central government allowed Shanghai to initiate economic reform. Since then, the port of Shanghai has developed at an increasing pace. By 2005, the Yangshan deep water port was built on the Yangshan islands, a group of islands in Hangzhou Bay, linked to Shanghai by the Donghai Bridge. This development allowed the port to overcome shallow water conditions in its current location, and to rival another deep-water port, the nearby Ningbo-Zhoushan port.
The port of Shanghai includes 3 major working zones:
The Port of Shanghai is a critically important transport hub for the Yangtze River region and the most important gateway for foreign trade. It serves the Yangtze economically developed hinterland of Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Henan provinces with its dense population, strong industrial base and developed agricultural sector.