There are ancient city-states, and today there is a port city. Urban countries are now rare in the world, and many international metropolises have emerged in port cities.
A port generally refers to a seaport, a river port, a lake port, or both. Unlike air and land transport, water transport is still the most important means of international trade because of its low cost. While railroads, highways, and civil aviation have marginalized river ports, the port has become increasingly important due to the popularity of container transportation.
New York, where per capita GDP leads the world’s largest cities, now dominates modern services such as finance. But before the 19th century, its primitive capital accumulation was inseparable from the hinterland trade operated by the New York Harbor, and of course, the highly competitive transatlantic trade.
The change of the intercontinental trade route has caused the emerging ports on the Atlantic coast to quickly “overwhelm” the ancient ports along the Mediterranean coast. In the 20th century, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Busan were booming in the port cities of the Asia-Pacific main channel.
Due to the late start of the Tokyo Port, it was only after 30 years of the container logistics revolution that it took advantage of the capital to fully surpass Yokohama Port.
150 years ago, the Suez Canal in Egypt opened, allowing Singapore to open its doors 200 years ago. In the half century after independence, Singapore was located in the middle of the Persian Gulf oil production zone and the East Asian industrial zone, creating Asia’s largest petrochemical production base.
Indirectly benefiting from the Gulf oil-producing countries, the myth of Dubai is more related to its advanced urban planning, but its airport and seaport are also excellent. Dubai Port ranks among the world’s top ten container ports, especially known for the development of re-export trade.
The port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands is known as the “German Gateway” and was once the largest seaport in the world. It is still the largest port in Europe. It is between the major industrial countries, eastward to the Rhine, and to the Danube in the Black Sea.
With the integration of the logistics network, the alliance between ports is gradually taking shape, and the next step is to develop in the direction of unmanned and low-carbon. Can a giant port on China’s coast still be proud of the world? From these international port cities, we should be able to learn a lot.