Port stays world's busiest
THE Port of Singapore Authority's (PSA) S$400 million (about HK$2 billion) state-of-the-art container freight station, Keppel Distripark, was officially opened last week by Goh Chee Wee, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Communications.
The hi-tech station is considered a major breakthrough for Singapore's warehousing industry, and has been specially built for high-efficiency cargo handling/distribution operations.
Mr Goh said: The distripark marks the introduction of a new generation of warehouses. It is the product of much planning and vision.
''The development of more modern distriparks will further strengthen Singapore's position as a distribution hub and world-class port.'' The station will provide 114,000 square metres of covered storage space - bringing the PSA's total warehouse supply to 570,000 square metres, or 18 per cent of Singapore's warehouse stock.
Mr Goh, speaking at the opening attended by 270 guests, including government officials, port users and freight and shipping associations, said the development of distriparks had gone in tandem with Singapore's growth as a distribution hub for the region.
The new station would complement those at the PSA's terminals and help develop the port into a one-stop service centre, he said.
''[It] is the first warehouse in Singapore where cargo lifts have been replaced with vehicle ramps to facilitate the movement of containers to the upper floors,'' he said.
''This allows for a quantum jump in productivity of cargo handling.
''[Its] computerised systems enable all orders for container storage and delivery and clearance through the gates to be processed electronically.'' The opening comes at a time when Singapore has maintained its position as the busiest port in the world in terms of shipping tonnage - a lead it has held over Hong Kong for the last eight years.
It has also been the world's top bunkering port since 1988.
Figures show that it is the world's leading container port, after Hong Kong, and is second in the world behind Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, in terms of cargo tonnage.
Mr Goh said Singapore had tripled its share of the world's container traffic from 2.6 per cent in 1980 to 8.3 per cent last year.