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.