Work on the Tuas Mega-Port, Singapore’s USD 14 billion project to build the world’s largest automated port by 2040, has begun construction work on the second phase, after the opening of the first 2 new berths last year. This comes as the world’s economies struggle to untangle unprecedented congestion in global supply chains, where the previous ‘just-in-time’ system in shipping has broken down amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the Covid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine. Besides fading technologies, limited space and a short supply of workers and trucks, ports represent a common and visible choke point that would require a large-scale transformation.
As a regular pit-stop on container routes between Asian factories and Europe, Singapore has continued to develop itself as the world’s biggest trans-shipment hub and an attractive stopover point for ships to carry out all their needs, including banking, refueling, unloading, and storing. Development of the Tuas Port began as early as 2013, when, facing rising competition from rival ports such as Shanghai, the Singapore Government began allocating funds to perform land reclamation to build the new Tuas port, which is expected to double the country’s capacity to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) by 2040.
Once the Tuas Mega Port is fully completed, Singapore will shut down all existing capacity and relocate everything to the Tuas port. The three city terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Brani will all shut and move to Tuas by 2027, while Pasir Panjang terminal will be consolidated by 2040, which would help consolidate operations into a more logical structure, allowing for faster handling of containers and reducing the need for trucks to traverse downtown traffic while transporting cargo from one terminal to another. Additionally, it will operate automated guided vehicles to move more containers between the yards and berths where ships wait, as well as drones to aid in shore-to-ship deliveries and security checks.
(Source: Bloomberg Asia)