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The Port of Singapore refers to the collective facilities and terminals that conduct maritime trade handling functions in Singapore's harbours and which handle Singapore's shipping. Currently the world's busiest port in terms of total shipping tonnage, it also tranships a fifth[1] of the world's shipping containers, half of the world's annual supply of crude oil, and is the world's busiest transshipment port. It was also the busiest port in terms of total cargo tonnage handled until 2005, when it was surpassed by the Port of Shanghai. Thousands of ships drop anchor in the harbour, connecting the port to over 600 other ports in 123 countries and spread over six continents. The Port of Singapore is not a mere economic boon, but an economic necessity because Singapore is lacking in land and natural resources. The Port is critical for importing natural resources, and then later re-exporting them after they have been refined and shaped in some manner, for example wafer fabrication or oil refining to generate revenue. Only then can the service industries such as hospitality services typical of a port of call, for example, restocking a ship's food and water supplies, take their role. The Straits of Johor are currently impassable to any ship as the Johor-Singapore Causeway links Singapore to Malaysia. History

Before 1819
In the late 13th century, a settlement known as Singapore was established on the north bank of the Singapore River around what was called the Old Harbour. It was the only port in the southern part of the Strait of Malacca and serviced ships and traders in the region, competing with other ports along the coast of the Malacca Strait such as Jambi, Kota Cina, Lambri, Semudra, Palembang, South Kedah and Tamiang. The port had two functions. First, it made available products that were in demand by international markets; according to the Daoyu Zhilüe (Brief Annals of Foreign Islands, 1349)[2] by Chinese trader Wang Dayuan (born 1311, fl. 1328–1339), these included top-quality hornbill casques,[3] lakawood and cotton. Although these goods were also available from other Southeast Asian ports, those from Singapore were unique in terms of their quality. Secondly, Singapore acted as a gateway into the regional and international economic system for its immediate region. South Johor and the Riau Archipelago supplied products to Singapore for export elsewhere, while Singapore was the main source of foreign products to the region. Archaeological artefacts such as ceramics and glassware found in the Riau Archipelago evidence this. In addition, cotton was transshipped from Java or India through Singapore.[4] By the 15th century, Singapore had declined as an international trading port due to the ascendance of the Malacca Sultanate, such trade continued on the island. A map of Singapore by Portuguese mathematician Manuel Godinho d'Eredia showed the location of the office of a shabandar, the Malay official responsible for international trade, and shards of 15th-century Siam ceramics and late 16th - or early 17th-century Chinese blue and white porcelain have been found at the Singapore and Kallang Rivers. Singapore also provided other regional ports with local products demanded by international markets. For instance, blackwood (a generic term used by Europeans to refer to rosewood) was exported from Singapore to Malacca, and was in turn purchased by Chinese traders and shipped to China for furniture-making. In the early 17th century, Singapore's main settlement and its port were destroyed by a punitive force from Aceh. After this, there was no significant settlement or port at Singapore until 1819 when Sir Stamford Raffles, excited by the deep and sheltered waters in Keppel Harbour, established for Britain a new settlement and international port on the island. 1819–1963

Keen to attract Asian and European traders to the new port, Raffles directed that land along the banks of the Singapore River, particularly the south bank, be...
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