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Singapore port reactivating mothballed berths to fight congestion

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The port of Singapore port is in increasing capacity reopening older berths as it seeks to reduce congestion at the world’s largest transhipment hub.

Container ships calling at the normally highly efficient port of Singapore have faced berthing delays of up to seven days with total capacity waiting at dock rising to 450,000 teu analyst Lynerlytica, as Seatrade Maritime News reported earlier in the week.

The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said the Red Sea crisis and the resulting diversion of vessels via the Cape of Good Hope had caused off-schedule arrivals and what it described as “vessel bunching”. Singapore has also seen a “significant increase” in vessel arrivals and handled 13.36 million teu in the first four months of the year an increase of 8.8%.

“The increased demand on container handling in Singapore is a result of several container lines discharging more containers in Singapore as they forgo subsequent voyages to catch up on their next schedules. The number of containers handled per vessel has also increased,” MPA said.

The port authority said it had also worked with Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and terminal operator PSA since late 2023 to prepare for increased vessel arrivals. PSA has reactivated older berths and yards at Keppel Terminal increasing capacity from 770,000 teu weekly to 820,000 teu at present.

Keppel terminal close to the city centre is in the process of being closed down as operations are shifted to Tuas Port in the far west of the island. Three new berths are due to come on stream at Tuas Port later this year.

“PSA plans to accelerate these new berths to help increase overall container handling capacity in the near term. MPA and PSA are working closely with container lines and regional feeders to update them on their berth availability and advising them on the arrival times to minimise delays in berthing,” MPA said.