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Singapore maritime sector achieves new highs in 2007

Container throughput leads double-digit growth for Asian hub.
NEWS, Ports & Free Zones

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In what was a bumper year for the world's leading terminals, Singapore has posted record-breaking performance figures for 2007. Last week Europe's principal port of Rotterdam confirmed its business had grown by more than 6% overcoming capacity fears.

The Singapore maritime sector announced that it achieved yet another series of new records, registering double-digit growth in shipping tonnage of vessel arrivals, container throughput, bunker sales, and ships registered under the Singapore flag in 2007.

With such impressive overall port performance, Singapore looks set to maintain its lead as the world's busiest terminal in terms of shipping tonnage, the world's top bunkering port, and container transhipment hub for another year.

The 2007 achievements were confirmed this week by the Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raymond Lim.

Vessel arrivals in terms of shipping tonnage reached 1459 million tonnes in 2007. This represents an increase of some 11% from the 1315 million tonnes record set in 2006. Container ships were the top contributors, accounting for 36.1% of the total vessel arrival tonnage. Tankers came in a close second, contributing 30.5% to the total.

Container traffic in 2007 hit 27.9 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), a 12.7% increase from the 24.8 million TEUs handled in 2006. The total cargo tonnage handled by the Port of Singapore last year climbed 7.8% over 2006 to reach 483.4 million tonnes.

The total volume of bunker fuel sold in the Port of Singapore also scaled a new high last year, crossing the 30 million tonne mark for the first time to reach 31.5 million tonnes. 2007 sales surpassed 2006 figures by 11.2%.

The Singapore Registry of Ships also chalked up good growth. The total tonnage of ships under the Singapore flag grew by some 13.8% over 2006 to reach 39.6 million gross tonnage as of year-end 2007.

"The good results reinforce our status as a global hub port. They also reflect the successful partnership between the MPA and the industry, as Singapore develops further as an international maritime centre," said Tay Lim Heng, chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

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