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  July 10th, 2024 | Written by

PSA Singapore Boosts Capabilities to Tackle Global Supply Chain Disruptions

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PSA Singapore (PSA), a major global transshipment hub, has significantly enhanced its operations to manage increased activity and mitigate the impact of global supply chain disruptions since early 2024. This effort includes reinforcing its frontline capacity, commissioning new berths at Tuas Port, and reactivating berths and yard space at Keppel Terminal. As a result, the average wait time at the port has recently been reduced to two days or less. Despite ongoing disruptions, including the Red Sea situation, supply chain demand and impacts remain volatile. PSA is committed to supporting its customers through these uncertain times.

Read also: PSA Singapore opens Tuas Port

Since the start of 2024, PSA has faced strong berth demand and off-schedule vessel arrivals, leading to high concentrations of vessels on certain days and increased waiting times, despite utilizing all available berths. Larger call sizes have required vessels to stay longer, with extended transshipment container dwell times. This situation has been caused by factors such as the Red Sea crisis, which has indirectly reduced global shipping capacity, congestion at upstream and downstream ports, and shipping lines skipping ports to recover their schedules, resulting in significant changes in vessel arrival patterns and call sizes.

Ong Kim Pong, Group CEO of PSA International, stated, “As our flagship project, PSA Singapore is dedicated to meeting the challenges of ongoing volatility and aligning our port’s development and handling capacity with our customers’ needs. The Red Sea crisis has significantly disrupted global shipping and trade, and we expect this challenging situation to persist, potentially extending port congestion from Asia to Europe. PSA is building partnerships with customers and stakeholders through Node-to-Network initiatives to better coordinate between ports and enhance overall network efficiency. We are also expanding our port networks and ecosystems to grow our global presence and enhance cargo flows. By leveraging our facilities, supply chain capabilities, and our people, we remain committed to collaborating with our customers to address their unique needs in this changing global landscape.”

Singapore’s port has seen about 90% of container vessels arriving off-schedule, compared to an average of 77% in 2023. Additionally, vessel port stays at PSA have increased by 22% compared to the same period last year due to higher demand and container re-handling, where some containers are unloaded and reloaded based on discharge port, weight, and vessel stability.

Container re-handling on mega vessels berthed at PSA has increased by 8% in the first half of 2024 compared to the previous year, due to high vessel utilization caused by the Red Sea situation. This situation has led to extended vessel port stays, affecting the berthing time for incoming vessels, even as PSA maintains productivity.

Nevertheless, PSA’s proactive efforts and close communication with shipping lines and stakeholders have mitigated the impact of these disruptions. The PSA Singapore Management team has worked closely with unions, receiving strong support from the Maritime and Port Authority and Ministry of Transport of Singapore, ensuring a seamless port ecosystem.

PSA will continue to help shipping lines navigate service disruptions and optimize their network configurations, reducing berth waiting times and mitigating other impacts of ongoing disruptions, including vessel call diversions from congested ports in the region.

PSA moved 7% more container volumes in the first half of 2024 compared to the same period last year. Amid ongoing market volatility, PSA remains committed to long-term strategies, including enhancing capacity and capabilities through automation and smart technologies.

In addition to reactivating berths and yard space at Keppel Terminal, PSA’s Tuas Port currently operates nine berths and will add two more by the end of this year. Looking ahead, PSA plans to further expand Tuas Port and continue hiring frontline workers across all terminals, having already hired nearly 1,500 frontline workers in 2024 to boost operational capabilities.

Amid global supply chain disruptions, PSA has supported beneficial cargo owners and logistics service providers with value-added services to enhance supply chain visibility and expedite handling, mitigating the impact of delayed shipments. Initiatives such as priority discharge, expedited delivery, and fast connection management help stakeholders tailor solutions to their specific needs.

Despite the challenges, PSA remains dedicated to collaborating with all stakeholders, including government authorities, to enhance service excellence, reliability, and efficiency as operations scale up in the future.

“The congestion that we see today across many ports in the region is likely to be temporary. Singapore port operators are looking to mitigate the situation, which was unexpected and created by an extensive change in shipping routes due to the Red Sea crisis.  Singapore remains an important node to assist the liners in managing the supply chain disruptions.  Our Ports Performance database is showing shorter waiting times in June as compared to May.” – Mr Chris Rogers, Head of Supply Chain Research, S&P Global Market Intelligence