Media Factsheet: Charting Singapore Forward as a Hub Port and International Maritime Centre

Charting Singapore Forward as a Hub Port and International Maritime Centre

Key Achievements of Maritime Singapore

Major maritime enterprises under the MPA’s jurisdiction generated approximately S$4.8 billion in total income in 2023, up from S$4.3 billion in 2022. In Singapore, 25 maritime businesses either started up or expanded last year. Among them were businesses providing maritime services and those establishing sustainability offices in Singapore as a component of their expansion and decarbonization strategies.

The annual vessel arrival tonnage in the Port of Singapore crossed three billion Gross Tonnage (GT) for the first time, increasing by 9.4% over 2022 and setting a high of 3.09 billion GT in 2023. This reflects growth in all segments of our port ecosystem, including container ships, dry bulk carriers, liquid bulk and chemical tankers, ferries and specialised vessels, amidst a global trade slowdown.

In 2023, Singapore’s container throughput achieved a new high of 39.01 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 4.6% increase from the previous record of 37.57 million TEUs in 2021.

In January 2024, the gross tons of the Singapore Registry of Ships, one of the biggest ship registries globally with one of the best-quality, newest fleets, exceeded 100 million.

(A) Living Environment – Supporting maritime businesses to tap on new growth opportunities in the green economy

Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) – Sustainability

The Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) facilitates the growth of Singapore’s maritime industry by supporting the industry’s talent and business development efforts as well as its drive for productivity improvements. Currently, there are three pillars under the MCF – MCF-Manpower Development, MCF-Business Development and MCF-Productivity.

To help the maritime industry tap into new growth opportunities in the green economy, a fourth pillar, MCF – Sustainability has been created, to catalyse first-mover adoption of sustainable solutions in targeted new areas. Under this pillar, MPA will set aside $15 million till 2030 to co-fund 30% for non-SMEs, or 50% for SMEs, of qualifying adoption costs of pre-approved sustainability solutions, up to $30,000 per solution.

Under MCF-Sustainability, MPA may also fund projects on new sustainability solutions or projects to encourage industry-wide adoption of sustainability solutions.

MPA will release further details by the 3rd quarter of 2024.

Energy Efficiency Grant

The Energy Efficiency Grant (EEG) was launched in 2022 to support businesses in their sustainability journey by co-funding investments in energy efficient equipment. As announced in Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong’s Budget 2024 speech, the EEG will be extended to more sectors, including the maritime sector.

The EEG will provide two tiers of support – a Base Tier to provide up to 70% co-funding support for pre-approved energy-efficient equipment up to a $30,000 cap and an advanced tier to support companies that wish to make larger investments to drive greater energy efficiency. Support is capped at $350,000 per company across Base and Advanced Tiers, until March 2026. For the maritime sector, EEG will be applicable to energy efficient domestic port and harbour craft equipment.

Further details on EEG for the maritime sector will be provided by the end of 2024.

Enterprise Financing Scheme

DPM Wong also announced in his Budget speech that from April 2024, the Enterprise Financing Scheme – Green will be extended, and its scope expanded to cover the adoption of green solutions.

(B) Livelihoods – Growing and supporting the maritime industry as an engine of economic growth

Tuas Port Development

Tuas Port development remains on track. Tuas Port will be developed in four phases. When completed in the 2040s, Tuas Port will be one of the world’s largest fully automated terminals with a handling capacity of 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

In 2023, three more berths under Phase 1 were opened, increasing the total operational berths in Tuas Port to eight. Three more berths will be opened by the end of this year.

Reclamation works for Phase 2 are currently about 70% completed. Reclamation works for Phase 2 are expected to be completed in 2027.

Planning for reclamation works for Phase 3 has commenced. MPA is partnering with the National Environment Agency to explore using treated landfill mixed materials from Semakau Landfill as an alternative to sand for the reclamation works for Phase 3. Reclamation works for Phase 3 are expected to be completed in the mid-2030s.

Implementation of Digital Bunkering

Using electronic bunker delivery notes, MPA became the first port in the world to undertake the digital bunkering scheme in November 2023. By utilizing the mobile and cloud solutions authorized by MPA to complete and issue digital bunkering papers, licensed bunker suppliers, ship owners, operators, and crew can save nearly 40,000 man-days annually, lowering compliance costs and boosting the productivity of the bunkering industry. About 24% of the licensed bunker suppliers and barge operators at the Port of Singapore have started digital bunkering operations, and MPA has certified four solution providers thus far. Please visit for additional information on the digital bunkering effort.

To support companies in the early adoption of digital bunkering and manpower upskilling, MPA also collaborates with Enterprise Singapore and Workforce Singapore and the National Trades Union Congress to provide funding and training support.

Just-In-Time Planning and Coordination Platform under digitalPORT@SG™ Phase

As part of digitalPORT@SGTM Phase 2, MPA has created a Just-In-time Planning and Coordination Platform (JIT platform). With the help of the JIT Platform, which offers sophisticated and up-to-date information on ship schedules in port, ships are able to maintain ideal trip speeds, cut down on idle time at anchorages, and shorten turnaround times. The JIT Platform can also be used by Marine Service Providers to better efficiently plan and optimize the deployment of port resources, including pilotage, towage, bunker tankers, and suppliers.

Businesses that use the JIT Platform might benefit from reduced port stays and better trip planning, which can result in cost savings or cost avoidance. In addition to reducing fuel consumption and overall carbon emissions, trip optimization allows vessels to make up for delays in arriving in Singapore, including those brought on by route disruptions.

From 1 October 2023, vessels berthing at the terminals of PSA Singapore and Jurong Port for cargo operations can use the JIT platform. The JIT platform will be available to tankers berthing at the energy terminals and to all vessels calling at the anchorages by the 3rd quarter 2024.

Revised Credit Management Policy

MPA will no longer require banker’s guarantees and security deposits for billing parties deemed to be at a lower credit risk as of April 1, 2024. This updated credit management policy will be advantageous to over 80% of the more than 1000 MPA’s current billing parties. It is anticipated that the policy will increase the cash flow of enterprises, particularly Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), by more than S$20 million each year.

Maritime companies will be able to better control their growing costs and increase liquidity with the support of the updated credit management policy. In order to help the enterprises, MPA will hold engagement sessions in collaboration with the Singapore Shipping Association to reach out to the maritime community. Beginning in April 2024, MPA will release the banker’s guarantee and return the security deposit.

Alternative Net Tonnage Basis of Tax for Selected Maritime Sector Incentive Sub-Schemes

To better align Singapore’s tax regime for shipping entities with common international practices, an alternative basis of tax where the qualifying income of qualifying shipping entities is taxed by reference to the net tonnage of their ships will be available from year of assessment 2024 under the following Maritime Sector Incentive (MSI) sub-schemes:

  • MSI-Shipping Enterprise (Singapore Registry of Ship)

  • MSI-Approved International Shipping Enterprise, and

  • MSI-Maritime Leasing (Ship).

The existing tax treatment under the relevant MSI sub-schemes will continue to apply to MSI entities that are not under the alternative net tonnage basis of tax.

MPA will provide further details by 3rd quarter 2024.

(C) Livelihoods – Maritime Talent Development

The Ministry of Transport announced in September 2022 the establishment of the Alliance for Future Maritime Talent (AFMT) to help Singapore remain competitive in the face of international competition for maritime talent and to provide the maritime workforce with new capabilities as the industry develops. In early 2023, the Tripartite Advisory Panel (TAP) was established in accordance with the AFMT with the aim of involving industry and union stakeholders, obtaining input and identifying future and emerging skills and pertinent capabilities for the marine sector.

To prepare, outfit, and maintain the upskilling of the Singaporean maritime workforce in both shore-based and seafaring vocations, as well as to establish a hub for future skills to construct the maritime workforce of the future, the TAP has presented proposals. MPA and our tripartite partners will keep up their close collaboration as we examine and assess the implementation-ready ideas.

We must identify skills that are beneficial to companies and employees and offer working adults high-quality, flexible possibilities for upskilling and reskilling in order to create a solid pipeline of qualified maritime workers. A Joint Office for Talent and Skills has been formed by MPA and the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) in order to achieve this goal. The combined office will collaborate closely with regional postsecondary institutions and industry partners to support maritime workers’ training and upskilling.

As vessels decarbonise and transition to using alternative fuels in the future, the maritime workforce needs to be equipped with skills relating to the safe handling and bunkering of new alternative fuels, including emergency response plans and mitigation measures. MPA will continue working with our tripartite partners to develop the infrastructure and facilities to train the maritime workforce to prepare for this transition.

The full TAP report will be published in April 2024. More details would be shared in due course.

Career conversion and mid-career development

Workforce Singapore’s Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Sea Transport Professionals and Associates provides employers with salary support to support new hires and existing employees in taking up new job roles in Port Operations and Services, Shipping, and Maritime Services.

Based on input from employees and industry partners, the CCP for Sea Transport Professionals and Associates has been improved and is now offering 100% on-the-job training as of December 2023. As a result, employers have greater freedom to match reskilling requirements to business operations training programs, and workers may immediately apply newly acquired skills to their new positions. The updated CCP now includes a greater emphasis on industrial job redesign and reskilling in cybersecurity, decarbonization, and maritime digitalization. To help participating firms customize training programs for their staff, the Singapore Shipping Association and the Association of Singapore Marine & Offshore Energy Industries are currently the two program partners.

Workforce Singapore’s CCP for Sea Transport Professionals and Associates has helped over 340 people since it was launched in 2019.

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