Singapore’s maritime industry had a mixed performance in 2015. While the Republic remained the world’s top bunkering port, with the volume of bunkers sold last year increasing by 6.5 per cent, container and cargo throughput contracted by 8.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.
Singapore remained the world's top bunkering port with a 6.5 per cent increase in volume of bunkers sold.
According to statistics released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), container throughput contracted by 8.7 per cent to 30.9 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in 2015 over 2014.
Container throughput and cargo throughput, however, contracted by 8.7 and 1.1 per cent respectively.
Rebalancing of volumes across container shipping alliances agreements, and an increase in direct sailing due to lower oil prices also contributed to the decreasing volume at the world's second-busiest container port, after Shanghai, said the MPA.
The container shipping market has been plagued by sluggish demand and overcapacity in recent years.
The gap between Singapore and Shanghai, the world’s largest box port, continued to grow last year and there is now estimated to be about a 6m teu difference between the two Asian giants.
Singapore’s success as a world-leading container port is mainly due to transhipment volumes. About 85% of the containers that arrive in Singapore are transhipped to another port of call, unlike Shanghai port that mainly serves importers and exporters for the growing Chinese economy.