Top Maritime Hub
For the seventh consecutive year, Singapore has emerged as the top maritime hub in the world according to the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) index. Following Singapore in the rankings are London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai, who make up the top 5.
The ISCD has 3 primary indicators, which are port factors, shipping services, and general environment, which are factored into their index in order to evaluate the different ports of the world.
Singapore claimed top spot in the index in light of its ideal geographical location, maritime infrastructure and network, and its favourable government policies.
London reclaimed second place this year following a drop to third in the 2 previous years as a result of the provision of premium shipping finance, insurance and legal services.
Shanghai then followed, primarily due to its strength in its twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) throughput, along with its development of its port facilities and shipping services. This has resulted in its debut in the top 3 of the index.
Hong Kong fell 2 places to fourth, partly as a result of a lower number of containers passing through its port, along with a drop in ship brokerage, insurance and legal services compared to other shipping hubs.
Dubai, the leading port in the Middle East, finished fifth for the third straight year. Rounding out the top 10 are Rotterdam, Hamburg, Athens, New York-New Jersey and Tokyo.
Mark Jackson, Chief Executive of the Baltic Index, had this to say: “Whilst this report reflects a pre-COVID-19 world, those locations which continue to build on their strengths, are able to communicate a clear vision for the future and diversify beyond the physical port hub will be the ones who are able to succeed in the future.”
Mr Jackson also urged shipping hubs to “continue investing in education, R&D and new services; remain open to global talent and offer an attractive international business environment.”
Upon receiving news of Singapore’s ranking in the index, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Quah Ley Hoon said: “Singapore is deeply honoured to retain the top spot in the 2020 Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index for the seventh year running. This good news comes amidst the COVID-19 gloom.”
Ms Quah also called on the shipping community to co-operate in overcoming the crisis, stating that “The real test will be how we bounce back in a world shaken by an unprecedented crisis. We will need a global and co-ordinated effort.”
Xu Yu Chang, president of the Xinhua News Agency-owned China Economic Information Service, was optimistic about the release of the index, stating that he was hopeful that “the continued release of the Index will further contribute to […] sustainable global economic growth by optimising shipping resources worldwide as well as promoting the scientific development of international shipping centres.”
Source: Port Technology