North America (Change)

As the world’s economies struggle to untangle unprecedented congestion in global supply chains, one of the world’s busiest ports is backing an ambitious modernization plan to provide solutions.  Singapore is forging ahead with a $40 billion project to build the world’s biggest automated port by 2040 — one that will double the existing space and feature drones and driverless vehicles. The city state started operations at two new berths last year, and construction work is continuing on the next phase.  It’s becoming more urgent for ports to add capacity and speed as the pandemic has changed the nature of global supply chains. The just-in-time system for shipping has broken down as exporters in Asia face obstacles getting goods transported to customers in the US and Europe, and the situation has only worsened this year with Covid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine.  Ports are the most visible choke points in the $22 trillion arena for merchant trade, and a long-overdue transformation will require tackling a host of problems. Terminals are constrained by fading technology and limited space, while inefficiencies are compounded by containers piling up at yards and a short supply of workers and trucks.

Singapore’s $40 billion mega-port takes aim at shipping chaos, June 28, 2022, www.ajot.com