Transpacific Cities and Ports

This is a new segment of the transpacific project and much more information will be posted here as it is collected, examined and integrated.

An examination of the history and contemporary significance of the major port cities in the Pacific Basin reveals a great deal about the development and nature of transpacific relations. In particular, certain "transpacific cities" have become the major nodes in the vast network of relations that today connect the societies, economies, states, territories, cultures and peoples within the Pacific Basin.

A list of major port cities and coastal regions would have to include: Acapulco, Busan (Pusan), Guangzhou (Canton), Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta, Lima (Callao), Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Panama City, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Valparaíso, Vancouver, Vladivostok, Wellington, Yokohama, and others.  As the historian David Ingler (2004) has noted: "European, Asian, American, and native populations converged for trade during the decades around 1800, they linked isolated Pacific communities to global trade systems. The eastern Pacific, in particular, encompassed an immense and largely unfamiliar waterscape where social and economic systems collided in specific ports and coastal regions — the most prominent included Callao (Peru), San Blas, and Acapulco (Mexico), Alta California, the Northwest Coast, Sitka (Alaska), Hawai'i, and, on the Pacific's western rim, Canton (China)."

The graph below reveals the largest container ports in the world based on 2003 statistics on the millions of TEU they handled in each port. Note that the parts tha handled the largest number of containers were Pacific Asian ports. The twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) is the unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals. It is based on the volume of a 20-foot-long (6.1 m) intermodal container, which is a standard-sized metal box that can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and trucks. For more information on this topic click here.

Source: Containerization International

The satellite image below reveals the lights of the cities in the Pacific Basin at night. These areas are where the most people, buildings, means of transport, sea ports and airports are located.