Coming in at No 2 was the Port of Singapore with the highest growth in the top 20, up 8.7 per cent to 36.6 million TEU for the year 2018.
Growth of 7.1 per cent helped Ningbo-Zhoushan port surpass the Port of Shenzhen to take third place, while Guangzhou's 7.6 per cent growth was enough make it No 4 and propel it ahead of Busan, which fell to No 6 despite a 5.8 per cent volume increase.
Meanwhile, the flagging Port of Hong Kong, which held the distinction of the world's busiest container port until it was dethroned by Singapore in 2004, continued to slide down the list, dropping two spots to No 7 as its throughput dipped 5.6 per cent to 19.6 million TEU.
Rizhao, China, saw container volume surge 24.2 per cent to four million TEU; Piraeus, Greece, up 18.3 per cent to 4.77 million TEU; Barcelona, Spain, up 15.1 per cent to 3.42 million TEU; and Colombo, Sri Lanka, up 13.5 per cent to 7.05 million TEU.
Only seven of the top 50 showed negative growth from 2017, two of which were still in the top 10: Hong Kong and Dubai's Jebel Ali. The largest declines, however, took place at Salalah, Oman, which saw throughput drop 14.2 per cent to 3.39 million TEU, and Felixstowe, United Kingdom, down 10.5 per cent to 3.85 million TEU.
Annual Top 50 Global Container Ports ranking is assembled using throughput data from port authorities, IHS Markit, and maritime industry analyst Alphaliner.
In Vietnam, according to Bloomberg statistics, Ho Chi Minh Seaport and Cai Mep ports, ranked 25th and 50th respectively among the world's largest container ports.