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Singapore container throughput dips 0.9% in 2020, with port staying open amid pandemic

SHIPPING containers with a volume of 36.9 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) passed through the Port of Singapore last year, down by 0.9 per cent from the figure for the year before.

Singapore's container throughput was stable, even with the Covid-19 pandemic, noted the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) on Wednesday.

With the port staying open, vessel arrival tonnage rose by 1.7 per cent to a record 2.9 billion gross tonnes.

Bunkering sales rose 5 per cent to 49.8 million tonnes, but cargo throughput fell by 5.8 per cent year on year to 590.3 million tonnes, which the MPA attributed to a decline in oil cargo volumes handled.

Ships registered under the Singapore flag had a total tonnage of 95 million gross tonnes at end-2020, down by 2.4 per cent on the year before.

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Still, Singapore continued to facilitate essential goods and cargo flows, despite the impact of global supply-chain disruptions on port productivity, said Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs Chee Hong Tat.

He stressed that the government will continue to support the maritime industry in areas such as connectivity between air and sea freight.

For instance, high-value, time-sensitive goods such as electronic parts are made in Batam and shipped to Singapore by sea, and then flown to other countries in a new one-day express cargo solution rolled out this month.

"The government will continue to keep Singapore as a trusted hub for maritime operations - one that is underpinned by stability, adherence to the rule of law and pro-business policies," said Mr Chee.

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