The Port of Singapore: The Next Generation Mega-Port



Dr Jasmine Siu Lee Lam, Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


The port industry is a very dynamic industry. The modern Port of Singapore, being a forward-looking mega-port, is a good demonstration of how dynamic the port sector is. Singapore was established as an independent and sovereign republic in 1965. 2015 marks the country’s fiftieth anniversary, and within a relatively short time span of less than 50 years, the case of Singapore shows the development of a port from almost nothing back in the 1960s to the largest transhipment hub in the world today.

The Port of Singapore is a mega-port in a very small country. Singapore is in fact a city-state with a rather small local market. The country also encounters a major limitation of space availability. However, this city-state enjoys the advantage of having an excellent geographical location along one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Malacca Straits.

Associated with the geographical location, Singapore also has a stable climate facilitating port and shipping operations all year round. Having a good understanding of its major strengths and weaknesses, Singapore saw the opportunity in playing a strategic role in seaborne trade in the 1960s. Among the primary priorities identified at the very beginning stage of Singapore’s independence, the government of Singapore decided to construct its first container terminal in 1966.

Transhipment challenges

Since then, Singapore started to develop…

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