The Hub We Aim to be Like

Fiji Sun - - Sunbiz - Rachna Lal Feed­back: rach­nal@fi­jisun.com.fj

Iused to hear a lot about Sin­ga­pore be­ing a tran­shub but it did not quite have an ex­act ap­prox­i­mate of how it would be. This past week I had the op­por­tu­nity to see for my­self just how big a trans­ship­ment hub Sin­ga­pore re­ally is, thanks to Fiji Air­ways and Sin­ga­pore Tourism board.

Fiji Air­ways with its in­au­gu­ral Nadi-Sin­ga­pore flight took jour­nal­ists from five me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions to ex­pe­ri­ence Sin­ga­pore which was spon­sored jointly with Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board. High up on level 56 of the fa­mous Ma­rina Bay Sands, you can look out the har­bour and see lit­er­ally hun­dreds of cargo ships ei­ther wait­ing to berth or mov­ing out.

In fact, the lo­cals said the sea wa­ter in Sin­ga­pore was not very clean be­cause of the large num­ber of ships com­ing in and go­ing out. I tried to count the num­ber of ships, but re­ally could not go be­yond 100 as there were still many many more and this was only from one an­gle.

Sin­ga­pore as tran­ship­ment hun

Tran­ship­ment is the trans­fer of con­tain­ers from one ves­sel to another ves­sel bound for its fi­nal des­ti­na­tion, whereas in tran­sit. This is es­sen­tially the busi­ness Port of Sin­ga­pore is in and what Fiji aims to be in the South Pa­cific given the strate­gic lo­ca­tion.

Sin­ga­pore’s strate­gic lo­ca­tion in the heart of South­east Asia and at the nexus of ma­jor ship­ping routes has made it an im­por­tant lo­gis­tic hub and con­duit for world trade. Be­ing the world’s top tran­ship­ment hub, Sin­ga­pore is con­nected to 600 ports, with daily sail­ings to ev­ery ma­jor port of call in the world.

With its un­ri­valled con­nec­tiv­ity, many small feeder ves­sels bring con­tain­ers to Sin­ga­pore. At the Port of Sin­ga­pore, these con­tain­ers get loaded onto large ves­sels which will then carry the ship­ment to their fi­nal des­ti­na­tion. Why tran­ship? The value of tran­ship­ment lies in that it is more cost ef­fi­cient and time sav­ing than the ves­sel mak­ing a sin­gle di­rect voy­age.

In fact, 85 per cent of the cargo that comes through Port of a Sin­ga­pore is for tran­ship­ment.

It would not be in­cor­rect to say the Sin­ga­pore econ­omy is largely de­pen­dent and made out of its ship­ping trade busi­ness and which gives it the high re­gard in the world...some­thing which we have the po­ten­tial to be­come as well.

Fiji Air­ways Air­bus A330-200 that was used for the in­au­gu­ral Nadi-Sin­ga­pore route on April 5.

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