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Red Sea Crisis

Singapore port operator says vessel waiting time reduced to two days

Photo: PSA Pasir Panjang Terminals.jpg
Pasir Panjang Terminals in Singapore
PSA Singapore has been grappling congestion caused by the Red Sea crisis and has been reactivating berths that had been previously been closed down.

A combination of longer rerouting of container ships via the Cape of Good Hope to avoid attacks by the Houthi in the Red Sea and a sharp increase in demand has seen waiting times surge at the world’s largest container transhipment hub.

According to terminal operator PSA some 90% of container vessels have been arriving off schedule this year compared to 73% in 2023 and the average port stay has risen by 22% as more containers are handled per call. Container re-handling on mega-container vessels have also increased 8% in the first half of 2024 as lines seek to optimise the stowage of containers ahead of longer voyages to Europe and the US East Coast via the Cape of Good Hope.

In an attempt to cope with the increased demand PSA has reactivated berths that had previously been shuttered at Keppel Terminal as activity is gradually moved to the new Tuas Port in the far west of the island. PSA has also sped up the commissioning of new berths at Tuas Port.

The terminal operator said that as a result the average waiting time in recent weeks had been reduced to two days of less. Lines had been facing berthing delays of up to seven days previously.

As Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea continue unabated and the vast majority of container ships reroute via the Cape of Good Hope PSA is not expecting the situation to improve any time soon.  

“The Red Sea crisis has significantly disrupted global shipping and trade and we anticipate this challenging situation to persist for a prolonged period, potentially extending port congestion from Asia to Europe,” said Ong Kim Pong, Group CEO of PSA International.

PSA said it handled 7% more containers in the first half of the year. A further two berths are planned to be added in the second half of the year to the existing nine in operation at Tuas Port.

TAGS: Containers PSA