The Port of Singapore made history as it moved more than 30 million TEUs last year, retaining Singapore's position as the second busiest port in the world after Shanghai. In 2012, Singapore Port moved 31.6 million TEUs, 5.7 per cent more than 2011's 29.9 million TEUs, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) figures show, reported Business Times Singapore.
Shanghai International Port Group reported earlier that 2012 container volumes in Shanghai had risen 2.5 per cent to 32.5 million TEUs from 31.7 million TEUs previously.
"As a key transhipment port at the crossroads of major trade routes, Singapore is not spared the effects of the uncertain global economy and the challenges faced by the global maritime industry," said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew. "But I am greatly encouraged that overall, Maritime Singapore has nevertheless registered good growth in 2012."
Singapore is unlikely to overtake Shanghai as the top performing port in the world. With Indonesia and Malaysia building up their own port capabilities and capacities because "the larger the volumes in Singapore's competing ports, the easier it will be for them to grow faster". Singapore's market share in the regional transhipment trade may slowly erode due to complexities in overcoming the rate differentials with its regional competitors.
In preparation for increased volume, Singapore Port also has long-term plans to consolidate all its container operations in a mega-port complex in Tuas designed to accommodate up to 65 million TEUs, nearly double what PSA Singapore terminals can currently handle.