06 March 2019
Flying into Singapore’s Changi Airport, visitors often remark on the hundreds of vessels, from supertankers to freighters, anchored along the coastline. Why are there so many? What are they doing there?
A decade ago, the global recession created a maritime car park of apparent ghost ships in the Singapore Strait — vessels sat idle in the world’s busiest shipping lane as companies were going bust or did not have enough business to justify their use.
Now there’s a similar stockpiling of ships in the strait, but it’s more like a traffic jam. A growing global population that is getting materially richer means a burgeoning demand for goods.
… Dr Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow with the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies’ Maritime Security Programme in Singapore, said security in some areas of the strait “is definitely not as good as that offered in the ports”.
“In fact, some of the sea robbery attacks take place in darkness in such areas,” he said.
“The reason why collisions do take place is that the maritime geography of the straits is far from easy to navigate. There are tight channels (and) changes in climactic conditions (that) impact on visibility.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 11/03/2019