The container turnover at the port of Singapore fell for the first time since 2009 to a four-year low in 2015, largely led by a slump in Asia-Europe volumes, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said.
The annual container throughput fell 8.7 percent from the record level in the previous year to 30.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), according to the preliminary data cited by the agency.
Rebalancing of volumes across container shipping alliances agreements, and an increase in direct sailing due to lower oil prices also contributed to the decreasing volume at the world’s second-busiest container port, after Shanghai, said the MPA.
The container shipping market has been plagued by sluggish demand and overcapacity in recent years.
The MPA and PSA, Singapore’s main container terminal operator, have been working on measures to help shipping companies cope with the challenging market conditions, including granting concessions to vessels calling at Singapore.
Total vessel arrival tonnage gained 5.6 percent on the year to 2.5 billion gross tonnage, and bunker sales rose 6.5 percent to 45.2 million tonnes in 2015, said the MPA.