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. The Port of Singapore Authority Ordinance 1963: Date of Commencement, Sp. S 56/1964, Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement, 1964 (Call no. RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS); The Port of Singapore Authority Ordinance 1963, Ord 36 of 1963, Government Gazette. Ordinances Supplement, 45 (Call no. RCLOS 348.5957 SGGOS); PSA 25 Anniversary: 1964–1989 (Singapore: Port of Singapore Authority, 1989), 7. (Call no. RSING 387.1095957 PSA)
2. PSA 25 Anniversary, 5.
3. PSA 25 Anniversary, 5; Chris Yap, A Port’s Story, A Nation’s Success (Singapore: Times Editions, 1990), 69. (Call no. RSING 387.1095957 YAP)
4. PSA 25 Anniversary, 7–8.
5. Yap, Port’s Story, A Nation’s Success, 69.
6. Yap, Port’s Story, A Nation’s Success, 119; 17 Model Ships for Sentosa Museum,” Straits Times, 2 January 1975, 11. (From NewspaperSG)
7. Yap, Port’s Story, A Nation’s Success, 73.
8. PSA 25 Anniversary, 10.
9. PSA 25 Anniversary, 1.
10. Yap, Port’s Story, A Nation’s Success, 119.
11. Yap, Port’s Story, A Nation’s Success, 149; S’pore Opens $50-Million Cruise Centre,” Business Times, 3 December 1991, 33; Gerry De Silva, “Brani Container Terminal to Cut Turnaround Time,” Straits Times, 22 October 1992, 40. (From NewspaperSG)
12. “Bill Tabled to Set Up Maritime and Port Authority of S’pore,” Straits Times, 6 December 1995, 26 (From NewspaperSG); Parliament of Singapore, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill, vol. 65 of Official Reports – Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 5 December 1995, col. 332; The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill 1995, Bill 46 of 1995, Government Gazette. Bills Supplement, i–v, 1–104. (Call no. RSING 348.5957 SGGBS)
13. “Bill Tabled to Set Up Maritime and Port Authority of S’pore”; “Bill for New Body to Regulate Port Industry Passed,” Straits Times, 19 January 1996, 1 (From NewspaperSG); Parliament of Singapore, Second Reading of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill, vol. 65 of Official Reports – Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 18 January 1996, cols. 460–69. 
14. “Bill for New Body to Regulate”; Parliament of Singapore, Second Reading of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Bill, col. 463.
15. “Steering to New Heights,” Business Times, 11 April 1996, 28 (From NewspaperSG); The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act (Commencement) Notification 1996, Sp. S 42/56, Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement, 1996, 955. (Call no. RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS)
16. “Bill for New Body to Regulate Port Industry Passed”; The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act 1996, Act 7 of 1996, Government Gazette. Acts Supplement, 70–71. (Call no. RSING 348.5957 SGGAS)
17. Parliament of Singapore, Second Reading of the Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Bill, vol. 67 of Official Reports – Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 25 August 1997, cols. 1605–22; “Moves to Help PSA Meet New Challenges Ahead,” (1997, August 26). Straits Times, 26 August 1997, 33. (From NewspaperSG)
18. “Moves to Help PSA Meet New Challenges Ahead.”
19. Parliament of Singapore, Second Reading of the Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Bill, cols. 1605–22; The Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Act 1997, Act 6 of 1997, Government Gazette. Acts Supplement, 99–112 (Call no. RSING 348.5957 SGGAS); Port of Singapore Authority (Dissolution) Act (Commencement) Notification 1997, Sp. S 419/1997, Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement, 1997, 1904. (Call no. RCLOS 348.5957 SGGSLS)
20. “Moves to Help PSA Meet New Challenges Ahead.”
21. “PSA to Form Holding Company,” Today, 1 November 2003, 13 (From NewspaperSG); PSA International Pte Ltd, Annual Report 2003 (Singapore: PSA International, 2004), 4, 87. (Call no. RCLOS 387.1095957 PSAIPL-[AR])



Further resources
Milestones,” PSA Singapore, accessed 8 May 2017.

Port of Singapore Authority, A Review of the Past and a Look into the Future: 1961–1970, 1971–1980 (Singapore: Port of Singapore Authority, 1972). (Call no. RSING 387.1095957 POR)

Singapore: Portrait of a Port: A Pictorial History of the Port and Harbour of Singapore 1819–1984 (Singapore: MPH Magazines, 1984). (Call no. RSING 779.93871095957 SIN)



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
Container Ports--Singapore
Trade and industry
Administrative agencies--Singapore
Harbors--Singapore
Port districts--Singapore
Public buildings
Wharves--Singapore