I live in Singapore, and am involved in Shipping. I think the article is a good one highlighting the impact of the crisis, but has a few inaccuracies in it.
Firstly, there is Singapore "Inside Port Limits" This is normally full with ships taking bunkers, stores, crew changes, doing maintenance
(repairs) etc. What is on vessel tracker in the article is pretty normal. As a trading port, it simply never stops, although there has been a decline in ship movements due to the financial crisis. Where the ships are really anchoring
is "Off Port Limits", or OPL.
Well, in fact there is no room off Singapore Port limits because the traffic seperation scheme is just next to the port limit. Where the issue is, is that many ships are anchoring
off Johor Bahru (Malaysia) across the water
. This is where it is very crowded. It is so crowded there that there have been quite a few collisions when ships are manoeuvring. (Strong currents.) There are also many ships at idle off Boreno, and in Subic Bay in the Philippines
. This is the real point of the article - the impact of the global crisis has really hit shipping hard. Especially Container ships. Plus, there is a shipping crisis because there is so many newbuilds. It will be a long time before the shipping side sorts itself out. The Global Economy has to reach pre recession levels and then some before shipping becomes really profitable again. It's a simple supply and demand equation. Too many ships, too few jobs....