Record setting 2014 seen for maritime

Saturday, Jan 17, 2015

Record setting 2014 seen for maritime

The maritime industry can be cautiously optimistic about the months ahead after what looks like a record-setting year in 2014.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said last night that advanced estimates showed that 33.9 million containers - known as twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) - passed through local ports last year.

That is 4 per cent higher than the 32.6 million TEUs recorded in 2013, itself a record.

Vessel arrival tonnage rose 1.9 per cent last year to 2.37 billion gross tonnage and Singapore also kept its pole position as the world's top bunkering port, with 42.4 million tonnes sold last year.

While the container throughput was a record, it fell short of the 35.3 million TEUs handled by Shanghai's ports, which announced its volume numbers earlier this week.

That meant Shanghai's ports were again the world's busiest - a title it has held since wresting it from Singapore in 2010.

Nevertheless, Mr Lui said that Singapore continues to attract a broad range of maritime enterprises, with new shipping companies and maritime service providers coming on board.

These include shipowner-operator Bumi Armada and International Group Protection & Indemnity Club, Gard, while existing players like ship operators Berge Bulk and Milestone Chemical Tankers have expanded their operations.

External factors also seem to be providing tailwinds for the sector, noted Mr Lui, who was speaking to about 300 industry leaders at the Singapore Maritime Foundation's 2015 New Year cocktail reception at Conrad Centennial Singapore Hotel yesterday.

He is cautiously optimistic about the industry's prospects for this year. "Some improvement in 2015 is indeed possible. Any recovery is most likely as a result of falling costs than any meaningful increase in freight rates."

Mr Lui also mapped out the blueprint for the industry, which involves significant investment in port infrastructure as well as in developing manpower talent.

Expansion work at Pasir Panjang Terminal is proceeding as scheduled and reclamation will be under way at Tuas to build a new port to consolidate all of Singapore's container port activity.

Safety will not be overlooked, with the Maritime and Port Authority working closely with the industry to review measures.

Mr Lui noted that there will be no let-up in efforts to train Singaporeans for the industry.

Scholarships have also been awarded to attract people to the sector.

Back to Career Resources »

Related Articles

    SkillsFuture: 2m Singaporeans to get $500 credit by early 2016; awards & fellowships will be bond-free

SkillsFuture: 2m Singaporeans to get $500 credit by early 2016; awards & fellowships will be bond-free

Fresh polytechnic and ITE graduates will be able to apply for a 12- to 18-month programme at companies that will provide on-the-job training and sponsor their further studies towards an industry-recognised certification.

    Doing what you’re good at, naturally

Doing what you’re good at, naturally

Pay attention to three clues that point you to your natural talents

    One and two-tier governance systems

One and two-tier governance systems

It is unlikely that companies or even other non-profit organisations will follow SMF's move to a two-tier structure

    Training hours dip as bosses 'can't spare workers'

Training hours dip as bosses 'can't spare workers'

But more employees are getting trained, reports labour force survey

    Training 'gave wages a boost': Study

Training 'gave wages a boost': Study

But proportion of workers with better job outcomes after WSQ shrank: Survey

    Project mgmt offices' value questioned

Project mgmt offices' value questioned

Survey shows PMOs' effectiveness in training often not properly measured