Singapore Retains Its Place as World's Top Shipping Hub
Singapore has maintained its position as the world's top shipping hub for the seventh year straight, according to a report published by the Baltic Exchange and Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development (ISCD) Index, now in its seventh edition, assesses factors including port throughput and infrastructure; depth and breadth of professional maritime support services; as well as the general business environment in its attempt to provide an independent ranking of the performance of the world’s largest cities that offer port and shipping business services.
For 2020, the top five international shipping centers remain the same as 2019, but with some movement. Following Singapore is London, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Singapore maintained its position as the most important shipping hub in the Asia-Pacific region, ranking first for seven consecutive years with its advantages of geographical location, shipping industry ecosystem and supportive government policies. London, with advantages accruing from providing high-end shipping finance, insurance, and legal services, has climbed back to the second place after dropping to third place in 2018 and 2019.
As the biggest port in terms of container throughput, Shanghai has seen a steady improvement in port facilities and shipping service levels, and has ascended to the top three for the first time. Hong Kong fell to fourth place mainly due to a decrease in cargo throughput and a drop in rankings relative to other centers in areas such as ship brokerage, insurance and legal services.
Dubai, as the preeminent shipping hub in the Middle East, ranked fifth for the third consecutive year. Rotterdam and Hamburg have also retained their positions since 2018, ranking sixth and seventh respectively. Benefiting from an improving business environment, Athens rose to eighth. New York-New Jersey slipped by one place, while Tokyo rose one place, returning to the ranks of the top 10.
Baltic Exchange Chief Executive, Mark Jackson said, “Whilst this report reflects a pre-COVID 19 world, those locations which continue to build on their strengths, are able to communicate a clear vision for the future and diversify beyond the physical port hub will be the ones who are able to succeed in the future. We call on all the main shipping hubs to continue investing in education, R&D and new services; remain open to global talent and offer an attractive international business environment.”
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