11 July 18 The Business Times by TAN HWEE HWEE
FOR the fifth consecutive year, Singapore has clinched the No. 1 spot among the world's top maritime centres in the Xinhua-Baltic International's International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index.
The index rates the relative performance of the world's 43 largest ports and cities annually.
Singapore beat four other Asian port cities for 2018 - Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Busan, which are also in the top 10.
Hong Kong pipped London for the first time in five years to take second place.
The Baltic Exchange noted in a statement that London's overall development had experienced drag from a weaker European economy.
But this did not seem to hold back Rotterdam; the port-city of Netherlands jumped two places to sixth in the overall rankings, reaping efficiency gains from digitalisation.
Port cities were rated on the breadth and depth of their maritime services sector, which includes ship broking, engineering, shipping law and shipping finance.
In the area of maritime services, Singapore was beaten to second place by London. The chief executive of Baltic Exchange, Mark Jackson, said: "This report underlines the constant competition and innovation taking place in cities around the world to attract maritime-related businesses.
"Location is an important ingredient for success in the shipping industry and plays an important part in meeting the latest challenges. The right location gives companies access to clients, the best employees and is a platform for long-term business success."