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Singapore retains box crown for 2008

Singapore retains box crown for 2008

Singapore: Port of Singapore has posted its 2008 container throughput figures showing a rise of 7.1% to 29.9m teu, confirming it as the world's busiest container port ahead of Shanghai with 28m teu. The port also claims to have been the world's busiest in terms of vessel arrivals with 1.6bn gt ( 11%) and bunker volumes of 34.9m tonnes ( 10.7%). Total throughput rose 6.5% over 2007 to reach 515.3m tonnes.

In addition, the Singapore Registry of Ships is currently the world's fourth largest with 43.7m gt ( 10.4%), and the Singapore maritime cluster as a whole employs more than 100,000 people and contributes more than 7% to Singapore's GDP. An important contributing factor is the country's Approved International Shipping (AIS) scheme has drawn over 100 companies with projected committed local business spending of about $3bn annually.

However, Singapore's Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raymond Lim, warned that the Singapore economy faced a 'difficult year ahead' and that in November the port had experienced its first decline in month-on-month container throughput traffic since 2001. 'Less cargo is being shipped due to the falling demand for goods and services,' Lim told a gathering to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Singapore Maritime Foundation.

'Tightening liquidity available to businesses is also affecting our shipowners and operators,' Lim added. 'We recognise that the months ahead will be difficult with the global economic crisis rearing its head. The Singapore government will continuously explore ways to assist companies and stakeholders in the near term. We will announce suitable assistance measures at the appropriate time.'

The MPA will also continue to raise the country's international maritime profile with a number of initiatives including the Singapore Maritime Week (held from April 20th to 24th) which is to coincide with the Singapore Maritime Foundation and Seatrade co-organised biennial SeaAsia Conference and Exhibition.  [09/01/09]