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Maritime News for Filipino Seafarers

What will stop Singapore’s ports dominating in Southeast Asia

What will stop Singapore’s ports dominating in Southeast Asia
Oliver Ward October 12, 2017

Singapore’s mammoth shipping industry continues to gather momentum as more industry giants moved their operations to the island state earlier this year. In April, Ocean Alliance, the largest consortium in the container shipping industry, announced it was moving operations away from Port Klang in Malaysia, to Singapore.

After United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) merged with Hapag-Lloyd to join Alliance, it also redirected its operations from Malaysia into Singapore.

ASEAN ports have flourished over the last seven years

PSA Terminals in Singapore now handles a fifth of the world’s transshipped containers, making it the second largest container port in the world. It receives more than 33 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually. The only port with a larger annual TEU volume is Shanghai.

In 2010, ASEAN and China signed their free trade agreement (FTA) which drastically modified the ASEAN shipping industry. Goods imported or exported from China needed to go through ASEAN to access the preferred tariffs. The result was companies overlooked Hong Kong as their trading hub to China and relocated to ASEAN. What has emerged, is the largest and fastest growing trade channel anywhere in the world located between China and ASEAN.