The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singaporehas announced an additional 10 per cent concession on port dues for container vessels calling in Singapore, with port stays of up to five days, to help the shipping industry tide over the current economic downturn.
MPA said that the additional concession will be in place for one year, and will be granted on top of existing port dues concessions such as the Green Port Programme incentives and the 20 per cent concession first introduced in 1996.
The additional concession will be effective on Friday. In all, these concessions are expected to amount to more than S$17 million in annual savings for container lines, the MPA said in a media release.
The Authority said PSA Corp Ltd, the port operator, will also put in more resources to help their customers through this period.
PSA will help customers enhance vessel productivity at the port and optimise network planning activities, such as service deployments and phasing in and out of vessels, with the aim of lowering their operational costs. PSA is also actively engaging container lines that wish to establish a long-term strategic presence in the Port of Singapore, added MPA.
The measures were announced by Khaw Boon Wan, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport.
He said: "It's another reflection of the Singapore Government's consistent commitment to stand with and help our partners through challenging times. To further strengthen Singapore's position as an international maritime centre, MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) will develop a manpower plan for the Sea Transport Sector under the SkillsFuture framework.
"I am happy that three new SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programmes for the maritime sector will be rolled out by June this year."
The incentives come at a time when the maritime industry and ports in the Republic are hit by increased competition and falling global demand. Moreover, freight rates have drastically declined amid falling commodity prices and an oversupply of vessels.