Monday, 21 June 2021 -
The port of Singapore, the world's second-largest after China's Shanghai Port, has reported Friday a container growth of 4.6% in the first five months of 2021, and the city-state continues to be an attractive proposition for new companies looking to set up operations.
The port of Singapore has bounced back strongly despite the pandemic. The past few months have seen port closures overseas, global container shortages, and shipment delays that led to a 0.9% fall in containers at the port last year. And despite the significant growth, five more maritime companies have either established new firms or expanded the existing operations since the start of 2021.
Bounce Back from The Pandemic Slowdown
Speaking at the launch of the Smart Port Challenge 2021, Singapore’s State Minister for Transport, Chee Hong Tat, revealed that the port had posted a 4.6% growth between January and May 2021, a steep rise that dwarfs the figure posted the same period last year, as well as the 3.9% of 2019 pre-pandemic.
On the back of the 0.9% drop in container volumes posted in 2020, this year's growth is encouraging news. The port has bounced back from the global pandemic-induced slowdown, and the first five months of 2021 have seen it handle more cargo than it did in the same period last year.
New Companies Are Setting Up
According to Chee Hong Tat, neither the Covid-19 pandemic nor the recent Suez Canal backlog prevented the port of Singapore from expanding its operations. And the past few months have seen the ports Maritime sector grow tremendously. Late last year alone saw 11 new shipping firms move into Singapore, with at least eight maritime companies expanding their operations.
Furthermore, the investment pipeline didn't stop there. In the five months between January and May 2021, five new maritime companies have either expanded or established new operations in the city-state. And according to Minster Chee, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has offered more support to firms looking to start operations in the city.
The minister thanked the port workers association for their resilience during the past few months, especially in the face of the pandemic and most recently, the Suez Canal incident. And speaking at the virtual launch of the Smart Port Challenge, Chee Hong Tat further called for everyone to take advantage of the momentum to build stronger capabilities and to position the port for further growth.
And in doing so, he pointed out innovative approaches that would enable the port to handle all cargo in a 100% contactless manner. He hailed the technological solutions such as the provision of telemedicine to seafarers at the height of the pandemic as a foundation to build on to ensure the port of Singapore expands its maritime sector to unrivalled levels. And pointing to the city's support, Chee said that MPA has set aside $10 million in funds to steer the growth of the port’s maritime tech firms.
(Written and edited by: The Decision Maker Team)