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Singapore box volumes steady at 30.9m in 2016, remains top bunkering port

Container throughput at the port of Singapore has come up to 30.9m teu in 2016, similar to 2015 amid challenges of poor global economic conditions and lower trade volumes.

The 2016 box volumes put Singapore as the world’s second busiest container port, behind China’s Shanghai port which handled 37.13m teu last year.

Singapore remained the world’s top bunkering port in 2016, selling 48.6m tonnes of bunkers, up from sales of 45.2m tonnes in 2015, according to figures from Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The port’s vessel arrival tonnage rose by 6.3% in 2016 compared to 2015, reaching 2.66bn gt, with containerships, bulkers and tankers being the top contributors.

The Singapore Registry of Ships maintained the fifth largest ownership of world fleet under the nation’s flag, attaining growth of 2% year-on-year to 88m gt in 2016.

Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA, said: “2016 was an eventful year for the shipping industry with further changes in the mega-alliances, new mergers and acquisitions, continued excess capacity and depressed rates amidst slower global growth.

“Despite these challenges, Maritime Singapore sustained its position. 2017 will be another pivotal year. The maritime industry will not only have to navigate through new geopolitical uncertainties and changes in alliance structures, but also new international regulations that will come into effect this year,” Tan commented.

Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), added: “In spite of tough markets, activity levels remain high. With some consolidation now and discipline in ordering of new tonnage, and continued global economic growth, we should see a gradual improvement from the lows of last year.”

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