The Business Times

Singapore retains spot as world's top maritime centre for eighth consecutive year

Published Sun, Jul 11, 2021 · 04:18 PM

SINGAPORE has maintained its lead in the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index as the world's top maritime centre for the eighth year running.

Overall, 43 locations were rated. Singapore achieved a score of 97.2 points out of a maximum 100. The average score for a location was 58.8 points.

London, in second position, had a score of 82.6 points.

The index - published by Chinese news agency Xinhua and global maritime data provider the Baltic Exchange - is an independent ranking of the performance of 43 cities offering port and shipping business services.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said on Sunday that the rankings consider factors including cargo throughput, port facilities, maritime services and business environment. "Singapore is ranked first, based on its robust port infrastructure, a comprehensive range of maritime services and supportive government policies," it added.

Senior Minister of State for Transport, Chee Hong Tat, said: "As the world's busiest container trans-shipment and bunkering hub, the Port of Singapore has done well to support global seaborne trade during this pandemic.


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"Our international maritime centre remains a vibrant marketplace centred on a strong core of shipping companies and a comprehensive pool of maritime services such as shipbroking, marine insurance, ship financing and maritime law and arbitration. I thank our maritime companies and unions for their strong partnership in growing Singapore's maritime sector amidst a very challenging year."

A release issued by the Baltic Exchange elaborated that Singapore has been rated as the top location in the 2021 ranking due to the size of its port, number of internationally-focused shipbrokers, financiers, lawyers and insurers based here and its supportive government policies.

"Despite a significant drop in global trade and business disruptions in 2020 due to the pandemic, the relative positions of the world's leading maritime centres have remained unchanged," it said. "London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai were the next four strongest centres, as they were the prior year."

Rotterdam is in sixth position, followed by Hamburg, Athens/Piraeus, New York/New Jersey and Ningbo.

Summing up the latest ranking, the Baltic Exchange said that the top 10 locations remain largely unchanged since 2020, despite the impact of Covid-19, and features four Asian, four European, one Middle East and one United States location. Asia occupies three of the top five spots, with Ningbo in China replacing Tokyo in the top 10.

The rankings take into account port factors including:

  • Cargo throughput, number of cranes, length of container berths and port draught;
  • Number of players in maritime support businesses such as shipbroking, ship management, ship financing, insurance and law as well as hull underwriting premiums; and
  • General business environment factors such as customs tariffs, extent of electronic government services and administration, ease of doing business and logistics performance.

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