PSA named best container port operator for second year

PSA's joint venture with French shipping firm CMA CGM will operate four mega container berths at Pasir Panjang Terminal phases three and four. Operations will begin in the next few months.
PSA's joint venture with French shipping firm CMA CGM will operate four mega container berths at Pasir Panjang Terminal phases three and four. Operations will begin in the next few months.PHOTO: PSA CORP

PSA Singapore Terminals wins Asia's best container terminal award

Port operator PSA International was named the best global container terminal operating firm for the second year running, in the 2016 Asian Freight, Logistics & Supply Chain Awards held in Shanghai on Tuesday.

PSA Singapore Terminals was recognised as Asia's best container terminal with a volume of more than 4 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units).

Mr Tan Chong Meng, group chief executive officer of PSA International, said its award is an encouraging "shot in the arm for all of us".

The awards, organised by Asia Cargo News, recognise leaders in air and sea logistics and they come at a difficult time for the maritime sector in Singapore.

The latest Maritime and Port Authority preliminary data released on Monday showed that Singa- pore's port recorded its first year- on-year increase in monthly container throughput last month since the start of this year.

PSA yesterday said its joint venture with French shipping firm CMA CGM to operate four mega container berths will begin operations in the next few months.

The company, called CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal (CPLT), will operate four mega container berths at Pasir Panjang Terminal phases three and four, serving CMA CGM and its shipping line affiliates.

PSA will own 51 per cent of CPLT, with CMA CGM owning the rest, both companies said yesterday.

Mr Tan said: "(CPLT) will cater to the volume growth of the CMA CGM group in Asia. PSA looks forward to working alongside CMA CGM to ensure that its hub operations flourish, and enhance Singapore's premier status as the world's busiest transhipment hub."

The joint venture forms part of the French shipping giant's plans to make Singapore its regional hub following its acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines.

One-third of CMA CGM's traffic through Westports in Malaysia - at around 1 million TEUs - will be moved here. Its Asia headquarters from Hong Kong will also be shifted to Singapore.

"We could have stayed in Hong Kong. But as we grow scale and volume in Singapore, I think it makes more sense to rationalise our teams in one location. Having several hubs in Asia will be expensive, so we are putting everyone under one roof here," CMA CGM vice-chairman Rodolphe Saade told The Straits Times earlier this week.

These moves mean that CMA CGM, which is the world's third- largest container shipping firm, will be one of the largest players in Singapore's maritime industry.

CMA CGM remains positive about the sector's longer-term outlook.

"In shipping, we should not just look at the immediate term. The Europeans will still be buying from Asia, Asia will still be importing from Europe, and using container shipping is still the most economical mode of transport today," Mr Saade said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2016, with the headline 'PSA named best container port operator for second year'. Print Edition | Subscribe