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Ever Given and the Suez Canal

Singapore port readies for Suez Canal backlog

Photo: PSA PPT5 and 6.jpg
Singapore, the world’s largest container transhipment port, is readying itself for a backlog of ships and cargoes from the closure of the Suez Canal in late March.

While ships bound from Asia to Europe stranded by the blockage of the Suez Canal from 23 – 29 March started to reach container ports in the Med last week, the longer distance to Asia means that vessels bound from Europe and US stuck on the North side of the canal are yet to reach Asian ports.

“More recently the Suez Canal blockage cast the spotlight on the critical role shipping plays in keeping the global supply chain in motion,” Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore chief executive Quah Ley Hoon told a media briefing on Monday morning.

A surge in traffic is expected at Singapore’s port as the ships held up at the canal arrive from Europe and the US.

“So, the Port of Singapore is readying ourselves as a catch-up port to handle anticipated shipping backlog, our terminal operators are preparing more berths, equipment and operators to increase the handling capacity,” Quah said.

In particular terminal operator PSA is working with shipping lines on the backlog and the schedules of their vessels.

“PSA have for example made available their digital platform Calista to try and allow ships to have a better sense of the services and berth availability in Singapore,” she explained.

At present the vessels that were stuck at the canal are still sailing to Singapore and how long it will take to clear the backlog will depend on schedules.