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SHIPPING & MARINE | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore tops world's shipping centre rankings in 2018

It performed the best in terms of its shipping business services.

Singapore is considered the best shipping centre for four years in a row already, a study by the Baltic Exchange and Xinhua revealed. It was followed by cities such as Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Dubai, and Rotterdam.

The study identified three tiers for centres: namely the traditionally-renowned tier, the innovation-leader tier, and potential-for-development tier. The traditionally-renowned tier of shipping centres is represented by cities such as Singapore (97 points), Hong Kong (87 points), and London.

“These shipping centres capitalise on their locations in developed shipping markets to provide comprehensive shipping services with abundant logistics and transportation support,” the study said. “Playing the role of international shipping hubs servicing a myriad of maritime trade routes and air flights, their development is buoyed by financial momentum from international economies and trades.”

Singapore remained the second best centre for shipping services after London for four years. In this category, centres are evaluated through ship broking service, ship engineering service, shipping business service, maritime legal service, shipping finance service, and ship repair service.

It is closing the gap with London in terms of shipping brokerage services thanks to the eastward shifting of the world’s shipping centres, second-tier shipping services in the Asian region. It currently has the second highest number of shipbroker companies at 40-45, compared to 90 in London.

Singapore also has the second highest number of maritime arbitrators at 50-60, significantly lower compared to London (400). Maritime legal service tackles legal issues related to ship or property losses or share of losses due to some specific relationship between parties where such losses occur at sea or along navigational waterways.

Meanwhile, Singapore ranked fourth in terms of maritime-related law firms. It was overtaken by Shanghai due to a significant jump in the number of firms.

Singapore is in the top five ports with the most number of shipping companies (10) thanks to continued improvement in ship engineering services and management systems. It was overtaken by Athens (12 companies), Shanghai (11), and Dubai (11).

The city topped the rankings for shipping business services as it handles at least 40 branch offices of container shipping companies and at least 20 branches of bulk carrier firms. The main indicators include the number of ship management companies operating in the port and the number of branch offices of the top 100 container shipping companies or bulk carrier companies.

The study also analysed cities’ shipping performance along the Maritime Silk Road. Customs procedures in Singapore, as well as Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, have been relatively efficient, and they have maintained at a relatively high level of above 5.5.

The Maritime and Port Authority Of Singapore’s (MPA) port data analysis system has also been cited for exhibiting characteristics of an intelligent port. The system consists of seven modules including automatic monitoring of vessel movements within the port, refueling analysis, vessel arrival forecasting, berth utilisation monitoring and forecasting, pilot boarding and monitoring, and prohibited area monitoring.

Three modules have been completed in September 2017, and the remaining four modules will be completed in January 2018. 

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