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 D espite the COVID-19 pandemic, With only less than 30 years
global trade hit a record year in 2021,
with over 80% of the trade volume carried by sea.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD’s) Review of Maritime Transport 2021 report, Asia’s predominance in global maritime trade strengthened in 2020, as it maintained a 41% share of total goods loaded and increased its volume of goods discharged.
The resilience of the region’s containerized trade and swift rebound in exports is noteworthy as the region also maintained its pole position as the global hub for container traffic, with nearly two thirds being handled at Asian container ports.
The liner shipping connectivity of the continent also outperformed other regions, with the top five most-connected economies in the second quarter of 2021 being in Asia – China, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region, China), Malaysia, Republic of Korea, and Singapore.
away from the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s global maritime emissions target to reduce emissions
from marine shipping 50% by
2050 (relative to 2008 levels),
there is no better time than
now for companies in the Marine and Offshore Industry in Asia to accelerate their transition to a greener and sustainable future.
Decisive green transition
Singapore is making a decisive green transition given opportunities arising from global supply chain shifts, digitalisation, and decarbonisation.
“With more than 100,000 merchant vessels plying our seas today, many will have to be replaced in the coming decades,” Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat said at the Singapore Maritime Week in April 2022. “... we are approaching the future from a position of strength. We must make the best use of this
strength to transform, if we are to realise the growth potential.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the geopolitical uncertainties, the republic’s sea transport sector has remained resilient. Singapore remains the world’s busiest container transhipment port, handling a record high of 37.5 million TEUs of container throughout in 2021, an increase from 36.9 million TEUs in 2020. In total, the nation state handled 599.0 million tonnes of cargo in 2021. Vessel arrival reached 2.81 billion gross tonnage (GT).
In 2021, the International Maritime Centre (IMC) attracted 23 companies to expand or set up operations in Singapore. Singapore is also one of the world’s leading bunkering hubs, supplying over 50 million tonnes of marine bunker fuel to vessels that ply international shipping routes in 2021.
And for the fifth consecutive time, Singapore has been ranked the top leading Maritime City of the World in the international benchmarking study by Norwegian classification society, DNV and Norwegian consultancy, Menon Economics AS.

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