Singapore ranked top maritime centre in Xinhua-Baltic report for sixth year

Singapore beat 42 other cities such as Hong Kong, which ranked second, as well as London, which ranked third.
Singapore beat 42 other cities such as Hong Kong, which ranked second, as well as London, which ranked third.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - For the sixth year running, Singapore has clinched the top spot among the world's maritime centres in the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index.

The Republic beat 42 other cities such as Hong Kong, which ranked second, as well as London, which ranked third.

Rounding out the top five maritime centres in the rankings were Shanghai in fourth and Dubai in fifth.

The index is an independent ranking of the performance of the world's largest cities offering port and shipping business services.

It is a collaboration between Chinese state news agency Xinhua and international freight benchmark provider Baltic Exchange, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Exchange.

Rankings were based on factors such as port throughput and facilities, the depth and breadth of professional maritime support services, as well as the general business environment.

"Based on the evaluation scores, Singapore shows strength in ship management and shipbroking services, while Hong Kong is benefiting from China's Belt and Road Initiative and economic opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area," said the Baltic Exchange in a statement on Thursday (July 11).

It noted that while London has "first-class services" in shipbroking, legal and shipping finance, Shanghai and Dubai are catching up with the British capital in their level of shipping development.

Baltic Exchange Asia head Lu Su Ling said Singapore commands a strategic position as a maritime hub in the regional and global arena.


"The maritime industry is, and will remain, a big contributor to Singapore's economy and it is therefore important that we continue to innovate and invest in this sector to achieve long-term success," she added.

Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport, said the Republic's sixth straight year topping the index was "a vote of confidence to the quality of services offered by the Port of Singapore, as well as the conducive business environment that facilitates an array of maritime activities in Singapore".

He added that this was made possible by the strong support of maritime establishments, industry partners and unions.

In April, the Republic topped the Leading Maritime Capitals of the World report - released once every two years by risk management firm DNV GL and consultancy firm Menon Economics - for the fourth time.

Last month, Singapore bagged the "Best Seaport in Asia" award at the Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards in Hong Kong.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan congratulated Singapore's maritime sector for the win.

He said that shipping and its related economic activities are good indicators of how a city is plugged into the global economy.

Describing the maritime sector as a "brutally competitive business", he noted that of the three European cities that ranked in the top five in 2014, when the index was first published, only London remained.

"Success is not guaranteed. But complacency will certainly get us off the chart," he said.