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Singapore’s Container Throughput Grows 2.9% to Record in 2013

Singapore, the world’s second-busiest container port, handled 2.9 percent more boxes in 2013 as economic growth helped increase trade.

The island-city handled a record 32.6 million 20-foot containers last year, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said in a speech in Singapore today, citing advance estimates. The growth was despite high global energy costs and overcapacity in the shipping industry, according to the text of the speech received by e-mail.

Global trade last year increased amid signs of economic recoveries in the U.S. and Europe. Singapore has said it plans to double its port handling capacity and relocate terminals to a new site to capture future demand.

The Phase 3 expansion of Pasir Panjang Terminal will open later this year, Lui said in the speech.

Total cargo throughput climbed 3.6 percent to 557.5 million metric tons, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said in a separate statement today. Sales of ship fuel, or bunkers, dropped to 42.5 million tons from 42.7 million tons last year, according to the statement. Still, the nation remained the world’s top bunkering port in 2013, the MPA said.

Vessel arrivals increased 3.2 percent to 2.33 billion gross tons, with container ships and tankers accounting for about 30 percent of total arrivals each, according to the statement.

Shanghai overtook Singapore to become the world’s busiest harbor in 2010.

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