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Port profile : Singapore

The Port of Singapore is the busiest container transhipment hub in the world. Located on the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, 30km south-west of the Port of Johor in Malaysia, the Port of Singapore offers connectivity to more than 600 ports in 123 countries. It is the largest publicly owned port in the world.

The port’s Pasir Panjang Terminal is undergoing a $714m expansion. The expansion will add 16 berths with an additional capacity of 14 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). It will increase the total capacity of the port to around 50 million TEUs. The expansion is scheduled to be complete by 2013.

Critical functions

The facilities and services will allow the port to handle containers and cargo including bulk, break-bulk and project cargo. The port offers a range of services for break bulk and specialised cargoes. The warehouses and open yard spaces are used for storage, packing, consolidation and distribution of cargo. Around 80% of the containers that arrive in Singapore are transhipped to other ports.

“The port’s Pasir Panjang Terminal is undergoing a $714m expansion.”

The Port of Singapore has conventional and special purpose terminals to handle oil, petroleum and natural gas products as well as cement and steel products. It also has a dedicated car terminal, which is one of the major automotive transhipment hubs in the region.

Other ancillary services include the supply of water and provisions. Pilotage and towage services are also provided.


The port handles around one-fifth of global container transhipment throughput. The terminals handled 25.86 million 20TEUs units of containers, 471.4 million tons of cargo and one million cruise passengers in 2009. A total of 130,575 vessels arrived at the port the same year.


The port facilities include the container terminals, berths, cranes, storage facilities, port information systems, an approach channel and an inter-modal transport system.

“The port handles around one-fifth of global container transhipment throughput.”

The Port of Singapore has terminals at Brani, Keppel, Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang, Jurong and Sembawang. The terminals can handle coasters and lighters, cargo freighters, RO-RO ships, bulk carriers and container vessels.

The anchorage areas in the port include the Eastern Sector, the Jurong Sector and the Western Sector. The public landing areas – West Coast Pier, Marina South Pier and Changi Point Ferry Terminal – have dining outlets, shops, immigration and ferry services.


PSA International operates the major terminals in the port through its flagship terminal PSA Singapore Terminals. The four container terminals – Brani, Keppel, Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang – and a multi-purpose terminal, Sembawang, are solely operated by PSA Singapore Terminals while one terminal, Jurong, is operated by Jurong Port. The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore looks after the regulatory functions.


The Terminals Security Department maintains high levels of security in cooperation with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the Police Coast Guard, the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Singapore Civil Defence Force. The ports security features include an armed auxiliary police force, perimeter fencing, manned gates, 24h CCTV surveillance system and metal detectors for people and cargo.

The police force conducts regular patrols and checks to control threats from external sources. Other security procedures include: security pass system for staff, temporary passes for visitors and IT system to track movement / location of all containers within terminal.


The port is equipped with 204 quay cranes and number of gantry cranes. These cranes can handle larger ships such as UASC A7-Class vessels. Each operator can handle six cranes with the help of remote controlled bridge cranes. The quay cranes have twin-lift capability and can outreach across 22 rows of containers. The port also operates mobile harbour cranes to handle heavy-lift project cargo.

Maintenance services

The port has dedicated anchorages for ship repairs and maintenance operations. The services offered are ship repair and maintenance, monitoring of temperature for refrigerated containers and container repair and maintenance including supply of spare parts and services. The other services include container survey and washing.

businesstoday24 desk

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