The busiest port was the Panama Canal, followed by the Suez Canal and Shanghai. Singapore comes in fourth.
A Year of Global Shipping Routes Mapped by GPS
Tia Ghose Wired Science 25 Jan 10;
Scientists have come up with the first comprehensive map of global shipping routes based on actual itineraries. The team pieced together a year’s worth of travel itineraries from 16,693 cargo ships using data from LLoyd’s Register Fairplay and the Automatic Identification System, which tracks vessels using a VHF receiver and GPS.
A few hot spots logged the majority of journeys. The busiest port was the Panama Canal, followed by the Suez Canal and Shanghai.
“There is a strong similarity of statistical properties between shipping and aviation networks,” lead author Bernd Blasius, a mathematical modeler at Carl von Ossietzky University, wrote in an e-mail. “But different ship types (e.g., container ships vs. bulk carriers or oil tankers) are characterized by different movement patterns.”
The study will be published in a forthcoming Journal of the Royal Society: Interface.
Factoring in both the volume of ships and the number of other ports each is connected to, these are the top ports in the world:
1 Panama Canal
2 Suez Canal
13 New York and New Jersey
16 Le Havre
17 St Petersburg
19 Las Palmas
Image: Bernd Blasius
Citation: “The complex network of global cargo ship movements” Pablo Kaluza, Andrea Kölzsch, Michael T. Gastner and Bernd Blasius, J. Royal Society: Interface