Singapore retains box crown for 2008

Port of Singapore has posted its 2008 container throughput figures showing a rise of 7.1% to 29.9m teu, confirming it as the world’s busiest container port ahead of Shanghai with 28m teu.

The port also claims to have been the world’s busiest in terms of vessel arrivals with 1.6bn gt (11%) and bunker volumes of 34.9m tonnes (10.7%). Total throughput rose 6.5% over 2007 to reach 515.3m tonnes. In addition, the Singapore Registry of Ships is currently the world’s fourth largest with 43.7m gt (10.4%), and the Singapore maritime cluster as a whole employs more than 100,000 people and contributes more than 7% to Singapore’s GDP. An important contributing factor is the country’s Approved International Shipping (AIS) scheme has drawn over 100 companies with projected committed local business spending of about $3bn annually. However, Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raymond Lim, warned that the Singapore economy faced a ‘difficult year ahead’ and that in November the port had experienced its first decline in month-on-month container throughput traffic since 2001.

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