The world’s major international shipping routes

Trade routes are central to the global economic system, and knowing which route is the most important and widely used is an important factor in determining the path each company will take. In this report, we examine the ranking of the most popular trade routes and attempt to explain why Asia is the most visited continent. Of course, the obvious answer is China. Now consider the following top trade routes:

Asia – North America / Asia – North Europe / Asia – Mediterranean / Asia – Middle East / North Europe – North America / Asia – East Coast South America / North Europe , Mediterranean – East Coast South America / North America – East Coast South America

What could be more important to the global economy than maritime shipping? International trade, primarily by water, is what gives us access to so many commodities all over the world. We are all aware that the majority of the items in our environment come from other countries, such as China, Japan, and Germany. Have you ever considered how the items mentioned above travel and which route is the most popular for ensuring on-time delivery? Let’s take a look at what we have.

Trade routes are one of the most important aspects of the shipping industry. They set the parameters and conditions, as well as the time required to travel to the destination and, of course, the cost. To grow, all supply chain actors must be aware of the major trade routes. Top carriers travel through these areas, but are the top container ports also included in this ranking?

Let’s take a look at the world’s major maritime trade routes. According to World Shipping Council data from 2017, the following are the top commercial routes:

  1. Asia – North America: 26.57 million TEU shipped.
  2. Asia – North Europe: 15.06 million TEU shipped.
  3. Asia – Mediterranean: 7.91 million TEU shipped.
  4. Asia – Middle East: 4.74 million TEU shipped.
  5. North Europe – North America: 5.40 million TEU shipped.
  6. Asia – East Coast South America: 2.07 million TEU shipped.
  7. North Europe / Mediterranean – East Coast South America: 1.68 million TEU shipped.
  8. North America – East Coast South America: 1.27 million TEU shipped.


Given that China is home to 70% of the world’s top ports, it’s no surprise that Asia leads the major commercial routes. This fact only serves to highlight the country’s significance in international trade and logistics. China has experienced significant growth, which has shifted the market in its favor, and it is now the world’s largest supplier. It is unquestionably an example for the industry to learn what can be accomplished with creativity and perseverance.


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