Port of Singapore Authority (PSA)



The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) was formed on 1 April 1964 to take over the functions, assets and liabilities of the Singapore Harbour Board.1 It was operating five maritime gateways by 1990, including Keppel Wharves, Jurong Port, Sembawang Wharves, Tanjong Pagar Container Terminal and Pasir Panjang Wharves. To ensure that Singapore’s port would remain responsive to industry developments and marketplace demand, PSA was corporatised on 1 October 1997 and it became known as PSA Corporation.

Key developments
With the development of Jurong Industrial Estate, PSA opened the Jurong Port in 1965.2 Further expansion followed in 1971 when it converted the British Naval Base Stores Basin into Sembawang Wharves.3 With the opening of a container berth at Tanjong Pagar on 23 June 1972, Singapore became the first port in Southeast Asia to accommodate a third-generation container vessel.4 Pasir Panjang Wharves was subsequently set up in 1974. By 1990, PSA was operating five maritime gateways: Keppel Wharves, Jurong Port, Sembawang Wharves, Tanjong Pagar Container Terminal and Pasir Panjang Wharves.5
 
The PSA contributed to Singapore’s tourism efforts when it established the World Trade Centre in 1972. The ferry terminal also helped to boost Sentosa as a tourist attraction. In 1975, PSA opened the Maritime Museum at Sentosa, which gave visitors a glimpse of the port’s history.6

By the 1980s, the high volume of container traffic at Tanjong Pagar Container Terminal and the overall increase in cargo handling were stretching the capacity of PSA’s staff. Added to this was the pressure of running a global port. As a result, PSA decided to adopt advanced technology to use automated and computerised machinery for the port operations.7

In recognition of its efficiency, PSA received three Asian Freight Industry Awards in 1988 and 1989: Best Seaport in Asia, Best Warehouse Operator and Best Seaport Terminal Operator.8

The PSA celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1989.9 In that year, the World Trade Centre hosted 390 conferences and meetings, 64 exhibitions and 29 other events, which attracted nearly 5 million visitors.10

In December 1991, PSA opened the Singapore Cruise Centre. Its S$1.14 billion container terminal, the Brani Terminal, was opened in 1992.11

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
On 5 December 1995, then Minister for Communications Mah Bow Tan introduced a bill in parliament to set up a new statutory board called the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).12 The bill was passed on 18 January 1996. Under the bill, MPA would take over the functions of the National Maritime Board, the Ministry of Communications’ Marine Department, and the regulatory departments of PSA.13 The formation of MPA was vital to maintaining Singapore’s position as a hub port and major international maritime centre. The PSA would be corporatised and regulated by MPA.14

Established on 2 February 1996,15 MPA’s functions would encompass promoting the use and development of the port, controlling vessel movements, ensuring navigational safety and regulating marine services and facilities.16

PSA Corporation
A bill was passed in parliament on 25 August 1997 to corporatise the PSA, which would be known as PSA Corporation.17 The move was necessary to ensure that the port would remain responsive to developments in the shipping industry and marketplace demand. The corportised entity was expected to be better able to seize new business opportunities and respond more effectively to future challenges.18

PSA was corporatised on 1 October 1997.19 The new PSA Corporation would retain its core business of operating container terminals. It would also expand into investing, developing and operating international port terminals, and engage in related harbour-front developments, warehousing and logistics. The PSA Corporation would continue to manage the World Trade Centre, the existing cruise centre and ferry terminals, as well as the Singapore Expo in Changi.20

To support its global focus, PSA Corporation restructured its businesses in 2003 by forming a holding company called PSA International Pte. Ltd. for the PSA group of companies. Under the new structure, PSA Corporation became a subsidiary of PSA International.21



Author
Veronica Chee



References
1. State of Singapore. Government gazette. Subsidiary legislation supplement. (1964, April 2). The Port of Singapore Authority Ordinance 1963: Date of Commencement (Sp. S 56). Singapore: [s.n.], p. 105. (Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS); State of Singapore. Government gazette. Ordinances supplement. (1964, January 1). The Port of Singapore Authority Ordinance 1963 (Ord. 36 of 1963). Singapore: [s.n.], p. 45. (Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGOS); PSA 25 anniversary: 1964–1989. (1989). Singapore: PSA, p. [7]. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 PSA)
2. PSA 25 anniversary: 1964–1989. (1989). Singapore: PSA, p. 5. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 PSA)
3. PSA 25 anniversary: 1964–1989. (1989). Singapore: PSA, p. 7. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 PSA); Yap, C. (1990). A port’s story, a nation’s success. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 69. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 YAP)
4. PSA 25 anniversary: 1964–1989. (1989). Singapore: PSA, pp. 7–8. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 PSA)
5. Yap, C. (1990). A port’s story, a nation’s success. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 69. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 YAP)
6. Yap, C. (1990). A port’s story, a nation’s success. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 119. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 YAP); 17 model ships for Sentosa museum. (1975, January 2). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Yap, C. (1990). A port’s story, a nation’s success. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 73. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 YAP)
8. PSA 25 anniversary: 1964–1989. (1989). Singapore: PSA, p. 10. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 PSA)
9. PSA 25 anniversary: 1964–1989. (1989). Singapore: PSA, p. 1. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 PSA)
10. Yap, C. (1990). A port’s story, a nation’s success. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 119. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 YAP)
11. Yap, C. (1990). A port’s story, a nation’s success. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 YAP); S’pore opens $50-million cruise centre. (1991, December 3). The Business Times, p. 33; De Silva, G. (1992, October 22). Brani container terminal to cut turnaround time. The Straits Times, p. 40. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Bill tabled to set up Maritime and Port Authority of S’pore. (1995, December 6). The Straits Times, p. 26. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore. Parliament. Official reports – Parliamentary debates (Hansard). (1995, December 5). Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill (Vol. 65, col. 332). Retrieved from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00064966-ZZ&currentPubID=00069748-ZZ&topicKey=00069748-ZZ.00064966-ZZ_1%2Bid017_19951205_S0003_T00091-bill%2B; Republic of Singapore. Government gazette. Bills supplement. (1995, December 6). The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill (No. 46/95). Singapore: [s.n.], pp. i-v, 1–104. (Call no.: RSING 348.5957 SGGBS)
13. Bill tabled to set up Maritime and Port Authority of S’pore. (1995, December 6). The Straits Times, p. 26; Bill for new body to regulate port industry passed. (1996, January 19). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore. Parliament. Official reports – Parliamentary debates (Hansard). (1996, January 18). Second Reading of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill (Vol. 65, cols. 460–469). Retrieved from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00065005-ZZ&currentPubID=00069749-ZZ&topicKey=00069749-ZZ.00065005-ZZ_1%2Bid024_19960118_S0003_T00091-bill%2B
14. Bill for new body to regulate port industry passed. (1996, January 19). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore. Parliament. Official reports – Parliamentary debates (Hansard). (1996, January 18). Second Reading of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill (Vol. 65, col. 463). Retrieved from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00065005-ZZ&currentPubID=00069749-ZZ&topicKey=00069749-ZZ.00065005-ZZ_1%2Bid024_19960118_S0003_T00091-bill%2B
15. Steering to new heights. (1996, April 11). The Business Times, p. 28. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Republic of Singapore. Government gazette. Subsidiary legislation supplement. (1996, February 2). The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act (Commencement) Notification 1996 (S42/96). Singapore: [s.n.], p. 955. (Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS)
16. Bill for new body to regulate port industry passed. (1996, January 19). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Republic of Singapore. Government gazette. Acts supplement. (1996, February 2). The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act 1996 (No. 7 of 1996). Singapore: [s.n.], pp. 70–71. (Call no.: RSING 348.5957 SGGAS)
17. Singapore. Parliament. Official reports – Parliamentary debates (Hansard). (1997, August 25). Second Reading of the Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Bill (Vol. 67, cols. 1605–1622). Retrieved from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00065706-ZZ&currentPubID=00069789-ZZ&topicKey=00069789-ZZ.00065706-ZZ_1%2Bid026_19970825_S0003_T00081-bill%2B; Moves to help PSA meet new challenges ahead. (1997, August 26). The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Moves to help PSA meet new challenges ahead. (1997, August 26). The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Singapore. Parliament. Official reports – Parliamentary debates (Hansard). (1997, August 25). Second Reading of the Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Bill (Vol. 67, cols. 1605–1622). Retrieved from Parliament of Singapore website: https://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00065706-ZZ&currentPubID=00069789-ZZ&topicKey=00069789-ZZ.00065706-ZZ_1%2Bid026_19970825_S0003_T00081-bill%2B; Republic of Singapore. Government gazette. Acts supplement. (1997, September 19). The Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Act 1997 (Act 6 of 1997). Singapore: [s.n.], pp. 99–112. (Call no.: RSING 348.5957 SGGAS); Republic of Singapore. Government gazette. Subsidiary legislation supplement. (1997, September 19). Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Act (Commencement) Notification 1997 (S 419/1997). Singapore: [s.n.], p. 1904. (Call no.: RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS)
20. Moves to help PSA meet new challenges ahead. (1997, August 26). The Straits Times, p. 33. Retrieved from NewspapeSG.
21. PSA to form holding company. (2003, November 1). Today, p. 13. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; PSA International Pte Ltd. (2004). Annual report 2003. Singapore: PSA International, pp. 4, 87. (Call no.: RCLOS 387.1095957 PSAIPL-[AR])



Further resources
Port of Singapore Authority. (1972). A review of the past and a look into the future: 19611970, 19711980. Singapore: Author.
(Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 POR)

Singapore: Portrait of a port: A pictorial history of the port and harbour of Singapore 18191984. (1984). Singapore: MPH Magazines.
(Call no.: RSING 779.93871095957 SIN)

PSA Singapore. (2017). Milestones. Retrieved 2017, May 8, from PSA Singapore website: https://www.singaporepsa.com/about-us/history



The information in this article is valid as at 2017 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.


 

Subject
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Container Ports--Singapore
Public buildings
Commerce and Industry>>Trade
Harbors--Singapore
Trade and industry
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Civic and Administrative Buildings
Wharves--Singapore
Port districts--Singapore
Business, finance and industry>>Economics>>International trade and economics>>International trade
Administrative agencies--Singapore