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Singapore's container traffic up 8.9% in 2017, thanks to shipping alliances' reshuffle

THE Port of Singapore has emerged as a clear winner from the reshuffling of global shipping alliances, with box traffic rising 8.9 per cent last year.

Container throughput rose to 33.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year, compared with 30.9 million TEUs in 2016, according to advanced estimates released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday evening.

The increase was spurred by "improvements in global trade growth and the repositioning of major shipping alliances", the port authority said.

The port handled a total of 626.2 million tonnes in cargo last year, up 5.5 per cent from 2016, while annual vessel arrival tonnage increased by 5.1 per cent to reach 2.8 billion gross tonnes (GT).

The Singapore Registry of Ships maintained its growth momentum, with the total tonnage of ships under the Singapore flag climbing 0.9 per cent to 88.8 million GT, from 88 million GT in 2016.

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This reinforces Singapore's position as one of the top 10 ship registries in the world.

Singapore also retained its status as the world's top bunkering port last year, with annual bunker sales crossing the 50 million-tonne mark for the first time.

The total volume of bunkers sold in the Port of Singapore grew 4.2 per cent to 50.6 million tonnes, compared to 48.6 million tonnes in 2016.

The Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map, which covers the port, shipping and maritime services sectors here, was also launched on Friday.

Developed by the MPA in partnership with the industry, unions and government agencies, the ITM aims to grow the industry's value-add by S$4.5 billion and create more than 5,000 good jobs by 2025.

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