Singapore to build world's biggest automated port

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Singapore to build world's biggest automated port

Construction work on a $14 billion project to build the world’s biggest automated port by 2040 in Singapore, is continuing onto the next phase, as it aims to offer a strategy for easing global supply-chain congestion.

The highly automated port will double the existing capacity and improve efficiency, while featuring drones and driverless vehicles, according to a report by Bloomberg.

With exporters in Asia facing increasing obstacles to transport goods to customers in the US and Europe, as a result of Covid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine, it’s becoming more urgent for ports to add capacity and speed. 

Currently, terminals are constrained by fading technology and limited space, while inefficiencies are compounded by containers piling up at yards and a short supply of workers and trucks. 

Firstly, the need for more room became clear during the pandemic, as docks overflowed with containers, and some ports had to place boxes along roadsides to await transport. 

Singapore began allocating funds in 2013 to reclaim land needed to build a new port, Tuas, which will eventually double its capacity to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), on the country’s west coast. 

Shipping consultancy Drewry expects about 30 million TEU of capacity will be added per year from 2021-2026, down 25% from 40 million TEU added each year during the decade to 2020.

“Tuas capacity comes online while the industry is still challenged by shortages of port capacity,” said Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express. “Singapore will be able to look after its existing business and be able to further grow in 2022 and 2023 because of that.”

“Singapore is the world’s biggest trans-shipment hub, a position it will hold for years to come,” concluded Choi Na Young Hwan, head of the international logistics analysis team at the Korea Maritime Institute. “Singapore is setting itself as a benchmark for other ports.”

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