Group CEO's Message

Group CEO's Message

Looking back at the past two years, it would be no stretch of the truth to say that they have been characterised by uncertainty, unrest and the unexpected. The COVID-19 pandemic paralysed many parts of the world in 2020, and we were left reeling from the aftershocks in 2021. Even into 2022, the confluence of fluctuating global demand, geopolitical shocks and widespread supply chain disruptions continues to impact the unevenness of economic recovery and trade flows across the world.

In these times of uncertainty, it has become crucial and apparent that we must rewire our processes and partnerships as an industry to create more agile, resilient and sustainable supply chains. This has been PSA’s focus for the last few years, and it remains all the more important in the year ahead – playing our part as a major ports and supply chain network to help our stakeholders achieve better and smarter cargo flow.

I am heartened to report that PSA powered through the waves of change to deliver a robust performance for 2021. Amidst a backdrop of widespread supply chain disruptions and congestions in 2021, coupled with uneven recovery in global trade and demand, the PSA Group registered a 5.6% increase in volume from the previous year, with a throughput of 91.5 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) globally. PSA Singapore contributed a high of 37.2 million TEUs (+1.6%), while PSA terminals outside Singapore moved 54.3 million TEUs (+8.4%).

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Management, Staff and Unions who worked tirelessly as a team and in close partnership with all our stakeholders to keep supply chains safe and cargo moving across our network.

ENHANCING OUR NETWORK VALUE AND MULTIMODAL CONNECTIVITY

To augment our operational capabilities and reinforce our ability to enable supply chain resiliency, PSA has made several strategic partnerships and investments across the globe.

In the Middle East, PSA’s Saudi Global Ports (SGP) was awarded a concession by the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to develop and operate the Riyadh Dry Port (RDP) Ecosystem, comprising three facilities in Riyadh and Dammam. This will help to build a more efficient and resilient logistics ecosystem for customers in the region.

In Canada, Ashcroft Terminal inked a milestone agreement with retail giant Canadian Tire for the purchase of a 25 per cent stake in the terminal. The win-win partnership will drive the next phase of growth for Ashcroft Terminal, while allowing Canadian Tire to leverage Ashcroft Terminal’s strategic location for its supply chain needs.

Over in Europe, PSA Antwerp signed an agreement with the Felbermayr Group and Haeger & Schmidt Logistics to invest in PSA Breakbulk NV (PSA Breakbulk) under a renewed joint venture. The investment will see the three parties investing the necessary equipment and organisation on site, thus cementing PSA Breakbulk’s leading position in the breakbulk segment in the Port of Antwerp and allowing it to strengthen its position in the project cargo and heavy lifting market.

To enhance trade flows and rail-freight connectivity between Europe and Asia, PSA Northeast Asia formed a joint venture with German multimodal logistics company Duisburger Hafen AG (duisport). Drawing on the combined supply chain expertise of PSA and duisport, the joint venture company will develop value-adding services for customers in Europe and Asia, providing them with efficient multimodal, logistics and digital services through Chongqing, China and the CUIRC rail terminal network.

For instance, the Sino-Singapore Chongqing’s Connectivity and Distribution centre (SSCDC) is poised to grow as an important distribution hub for cargo owners importing into China. Located at the confluence of rail, road and river transport infrastructures and connected to global hubs via multi-modal transport services, we completed the first phase in the construction of SSCDC in 2021.

Another significant partnership initiative that PSA has been a key part of developing is the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC). The ILSTC connects China’s western provinces and Southeast Asia through rail and sea links. In 2021, goods transported through the ILSTC increased by more than 50% from the year before, testament to the added value that this transport option brings to cargo owners facing a climate of increased supply chain uncertainty.

DIGITALLY TRANSFORMING SUPPLY CHAINS

As a global port operator and cargo solutions provider, PSA is well-positioned to accelerate the shift towards sustainable trade. We are building up our technological and digital capabilities so that we can provide more innovative cargo solutions and enable agile, resilient and sustainable supply chains.

As a founding member of the Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex), PSA played a significant role in conceptualising and operationalising Singapore’s endeavour to build a common digital utility for better orchestration of data and logistics flows. Launched in 2021, SGTraDex is an interoperable common data infrastructure which connects supply chain ecosystems, a partnership between Singapore government agencies and other industry partners.

Global eTrade Services (GeTS) also worked with us to launch CALISTA® inventory financing (CIF) – an end-to-end platform that collaborates with commodity trading companies, banks and terminals to simplify and optimise business processes for oil storage financing. It is one of the first platforms to be integrated with SGTraDex, enabling banks to mitigate trade-related fraud risks and commodity traders to plan their operations more efficiently.

In the same vein of improving connectivity for the ecosystem, PSA Marine also launched a new Liquid Bulk module (“LqB”) on its ONEHANDSHAKE™ platform. This one-of-a-kind digital module facilitates more efficient interactions and transactions among stakeholders in the liquid bulk logistics chain.

Trusted and secure data sharing across all the links in the supply chain is the key to better optimisation and higher productivity for the industry. PSA is a founding shareholder of Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), a not-for-profit technology consortium of key shipping lines and terminal operators. GSBN launched Cargo Release to Southeast Asian ports in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand in 2021. Its blockchain-enabled operating system removes the need for paper documentation and drastically reduces the time needed for cargo to be document-ready.

COLLABORATING FOR DECARBONISATION

PSA also engages in international and cross-industry platforms to galvanise collective action towards our vision of an “Internet of Logistics”, something that we believe will enable stakeholders to benefit from improved visibility, closer collaboration, and the co-creation of better supply chain solutions for resilient and sustainable trade. These include forums and action groups under the World Economic Forum, Global Maritime Forum, the Coalition for the Energy of the Future, Smart Freight Centre, to name a few key ones.

In Singapore, we partnered with Ocean Network Express (ONE) to launch an environmentally friendly barge sailing service from PSA Singapore to PSA Jurong Island Terminal.

As we continue to spearhead efforts towards the decarbonisation of global supply chains, we remain committed to investing in sustainable solutions for the future. For example, PSA has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the RHT Group of Companies (RHT) to explore co-creation and investment in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) digital assets solutions to further advance the goals of decarbonisation in ports and supply chains. We also invested in fintech group SDAX Financial to further our sustainability initiatives for ports, supply chains and climate-conscious cargo owners.

CO-CREATING THE FUTURE OF LOGISTICS

In closing, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to our customers and partners, for their continuous support and trust in us. My appreciation as well to our Board of Directors for their guidance and support throughout the year. I am also deeply grateful for our committed Staff, Unions and Management colleagues at PSA, all of whom have displayed remarkable grit and tenacity during these exceptional times.

The challenges of the past year have solidified our resolve as an organisation to be resilient, agile and innovative. In our drive to realise the Internet of Logistics vision, we will continue to collaborate with likeminded partners, customers and suppliers. Alone, we each have the potential to achieve success. Together, we will have even wider opportunities to chart supply chain transformation for the greater good and amplify our collective positive impact for all our stakeholders.

We look forward to co-creating the future of logistics with you – one that offers the customer greater choice, superior control and visibility, and importantly, sustainable cargo solutions. What an exciting future it promises to be!

Tan Chong Meng Group CEO