Singapore has retained the top spot as international shipping centre for seventh consecutive year in the 2020 International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index while Dubai, as the pre-eminent shipping hub in the Middle East, ranked fifth for the third consecutive year.
The ISCD index, published by Baltic Exchange, in collaboration with Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, saw London in the second place followed by Shanghai in third place and Hong Kong in the 4th spot.
The report is based on objective factors including port throughput and infrastructure; depth and breadth of professional maritime support services; as well as the general business environment.
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 centres in areas such as ship brokerage, insurance and legal services.
Dubai, as the pre-eminent shipping hub in the Middle East, ranked fifth for the third consecutive year.
According top ISCD, Rotterdam and Hamburg have 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 CEO 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," he stated.
On the key achievement, Singapore Maritime and Port Authority CEO Ms Quah Ley Hoon said: "Singapore is deeply honoured to retain the top spot in the ISCD Index for the seventh year running. This good news comes amidst the Covid-19 gloom. The real test will be how we bounce back in a world shaken by an unprecedented crisis."
"We will need a global and co-ordinated effort. In this regard, Singapore will continue to rally governments and the global shipping community to work together and emerge stronger. Within Singapore, we stand united with our maritime companies, industry partners and unions, and will strive to maintain our position as a leading International Maritime Centre and a global hub port," she added.-TradeArabia News Service