February 10, 2018

Singapore has started the construction of the Tuas mega port. As the maritime industry in Singapore successfully navigates through challenges such as slowing growth, rapid technological changes, and a tight labour market, it is imperative that ports find innovative ways to work more efficiently and capitalize on the opportunities available.
Singapore currently has five container terminals – Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, Brani, Pasir Panjang Terminal 1 and Pasir Panjang Terminal 2. Due to the frequent need to truck containers between terminals for transhipment, additional time and costs are incurred as a result of road congestions.
With the completion of the Tuas Terminal, all city terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang, Keppel and Brani, will eventually be merged at Tuas. This consolidation of container port activities will not only result in increased efficiency in port operations due to the elimination of inter-terminals haulage, but also comes at the right time with the expiration of port leases at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Brani in 2027.
The Tuas Terminal is expected to be the largest container terminal in the world, with a facility that will be able to cater to mega-vessels. In addition, the mega-terminal will also have a total capacity of up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), more than the combined 50 million TEUs capacity of the current city terminals.
With technological advances transforming most industries, the maritime industry is shifting towards a digital future as well. Plans to incorporate more automation, intelligent control systems, and sustainable technologies into the new terminal shows how maritime players are harnessing new technologies to become more efficient and effective.
Some key innovations will include unmanned vehicles such as automated yard cranes, drones, data analytics and driverless trucks for port transport, which will be used at the upcoming mega terminal. Additionally, port waters will also be managed using next generation port operations systems. In particular, the Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System helps with early detection of hot spots and advising the best route for vessels to reach the berths safely and efficiently without congesting the port.
Precision and speed that comes with automated technologies will not only help in increasing the productivity of a tight labour market, but also contributes to enhancing the safety and security of Singapore’s port waters. (Source: Maritime Singapore Connect)