Singaporean transport authorities and the operator of the Port of Singapore, PSA, have responded to media reports of port congestion and confirmed it will construct three new berths for container ships at its Tuas Port. 

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said they began working with PSA in late 2023 as container traffic began to rise amid Red Sea tensions. 

Since the escalation of attacks on shipping in the region and diversion of much of the fleet to the Cape of Good Hope route in early 2024, Singapore has seen an 8.8% rise in container volumes. 

“The increase in container vessels arriving off-schedule and the increased container volumes handled in Singapore have resulted in longer vessels’ wait time for a container berth,” the MPA explained. 

PSA began by adding capacity through increased manpower, and re-opening older berths and yards at its Keppel Terminal. The company reported this increased capacity by 50,000 TEU each week. 

But in a sign the MPA and PSA think the diversion around the Cape and subsequent backlog of containers at ports like Singapore won’t be solved in the short term, they said three new berths would open in the second half of 2024. 

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“PSA plans to accelerate the commissioning of these new berths to help increase overall container handling capacity in the near term. MPA and PSA are working closely with container lines and regional feeders to update them on their berth availability and advising them on the arrival times to minimise delays in berthing,” the statement added.