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 After a steep decline in early 2020 In his opening address at the Singapore Singapore port was also recognised as an
when COVID-19 struck global trade,
international sea trade volumes showed signs of recovery from the second half of last year. This has helped Maritime Singapore to stay resilient in 2020, even though its economy had contracted by 5.8 percent.
During this time of crisis, Singapore port remained open for cargo operations and marine services, including bunkering, ship supplies and shipyard repairs, to ensure commerce by sea and global supply chains remain undisrupted. And although there were significant disruptions to supply chains that have caused congestions at different ports around the world, affecting vessel waiting times and port productivity, the port of Singapore continued to facilitate the flow of essential goods and cargo through.
Container and cargo throughput
Vessel arrival tonnage
Bunker sales
Singapore registry of ships
Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)
Maritime Foundation (SMF)’s New Year Conversations 2021, held on 13 January, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs, Mr Chee Hong Tat, shared about Maritime Singapore’s performance.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, figures showed that the Port of Singapore stood resilient in 2020.
Accounting for 20 percent of global bunkering sales, Singapore remains the world’s top bunkering port with sales amounting to 49.8 million-tonnes in 2020. Port of Singapore was crowned for the 32nd time, “Best Seaport – Asia” at the 2020 Asia Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards (AFLAS) held in Hong Kong on 9 November 2020.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Port Services Network (APSN) Green Port in 2020, the third consecutive time the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) had received this accolade since the Green Port Award System (GPAS) programme was launched in 2016. The recognition affirms MPA’s efforts on decarbonisation.
In 2020, Singapore witnessed the trend of many maritime companies expanding their presence in Singapore, reflecting a vote of confidence in the country’s stability, connectivity and capabilities as a trusted hub and safe harbour for maritime companies during tough times.
Among the companies to set up in Singapore last year were Swire Bulk, previously the dry bulk shipping division of China Navigation, who separated out their dry bulk shipping activities and established a new headquarters in Singapore.
Yang Ming chose Singapore as its regional base for its container shipping business to provide liner services across Asia, Middle East, North Europe and the Mediterranean.
Wilhelmsen established a joint venture with thyssenkrupp, a German engineering conglomerate, to deliver maritime spare parts using 3D printing. They are expected to set up their manufacturing headquarters in Singapore, serving key port locations around the world.
At the SMF New Year Conversations 2021, Mr Chee pledged support to build on strong foundations and to work with tripartite partners to grow the maritime industry and create more jobs for Singaporeans.
“The Government will support the maritime industry by focussing on three “Ts” - trust, transformation and talent.”
   Container throughput in Singapore hit 36.9 million TEUs in 2020, a slight decrease of 0.9 percent from 37.2 million TEUs registered in 2019. Total cargo throughput handled last year reached 590.7 million-tonnes, less than 2019’s level by 5.6 percent.
    In 2020, a total of 96,857 vessels called at Singapore, reaching over 2.9 billion gross tonnage (GT), a 1.7 percent increase from 2.85 billion GT recorded in 2019.
     Singapore retained its position as the world’s top bunkering port in 2020. Despite the pandemic, Singapore’s annual bunker sales volume closed at 49.8 million-tonnes, a surprising upturn of 5 percent year-on-year from 47.5 million-tonnes in 2019.
     Despite the impact of the pandemic, the registry kept its place among the top five largest
ship registries in the world, reflecting Singapore’s reputation as a quality flag of choice for international ship owners and operators. In 2020, SRS had 4,275 vessels registered with it. The total tonnage of ships under the Singapore flag fell 2.4 percent from 2019’s 97.3 million GT to reach 95 million GT in 2020.

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