PSA reports 9.1% growth across its Singapore and international operations in 2018.
PSA International Pte Ltd (PSA) reports that it handled a total of 81M TEU at its terminals around the world for the year ended 31 December. “The Group’s volume increased by 9.1% over 2017, with flagship PSA Singapore contributing 36.31 million TEUs (+8.9%) and PSA terminals outside Singapore handling 44.69 million TEUs (+9.3%)”.
Despite the strong performance, Mr Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO of PSA, was fairly muted in his comments, saying “2018 was a dual-speed year. The slow but steady pace of global container trade growth continued, despite geo-political shifts and rising trade barriers. At the same time, there was a surge in digitalisation activities within the global supply chain which promised better visibility and efficiency, while the industry continues to grapple with issues of data standardisation and collaboration”.
With a number of ports in South East Asia vying for transhipment traffic, as well as more direct calls, Singapore continues to face stiff competition. The state has shown more flexibility in recent years towards allowing carriers to operate joint venture terminals in Singapore, the most recent being Ocean Network Express (ONE).
The 8.9% growth registered in Singapore last year could be regarded as a strong performance, even if the growth rate is down marginally on the 9% achieved in 2017. With regard to its international operations, PSA did not say how much of the increase in volume at its international operations is attributable to specific terminals, one of which, PSA Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals in India, grew significantly in 2018. Tan Chong Meng said only that PSA Group “has achieved good volume growth” against the market backdrop.
In fact 2018 was a year when PSA focused more on technology than on adding new terminals to its portfolio, with the number of announcements related to ditigalisation exceeding traditional bricks and mortar developments. That focus will continue: “As we run full speed into 2019”, said Tan Chong Meng, “we at PSA are excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead in this age of disruptions. We will continue to build on our global network of ports while leading the charge towards co-creating an Internet of Logistics – an ecosystem that is plug-and-play, that links up a mesh of communities through interoperability, and which allows us to innovate boldly.
“We pledge our commitment to continue to serve our shipping line customers to the best of our abilities, even as we pursue win-win partnerships with cargo owners and movers, and stretch our capabilities as a team to propel us closer towards our vision of a truly connected and transformed global supply chain,” he concluded.