About the region

Singapore (officially the Republic of Singapore) is an island and city-state. It is strategically located at a central point on the most important inter-Asian trade lanes; between Japan, China and Korea to the East, Australia to the South and India, as well as the Middle East and all of Europe (through the Suez Canal) to the West.

The function of a maritime crossroad between important economic blocs is vital to the cluster building of Singapore. The port and maritime R&D and technology are one of the key driving forces for Singapore's growth and a core of the cluster.

As a city-state with limited raw resources but highly urbanized, Singapore has created and maintained strong linkages to support its economic viability and its service sector. Other success features are educated and motivated workforce, and well-established legal and financial business frameworks.

There are five free trade zones in Singapore – four cater to seaborne freight and are adjacent to the port and one caters to airborne cargo and is located at Changi Airport. All five are focused on facilitating entrepôt trade and certain repacking, sorting and reconditioning of goods. There are a Port logistics Park and an Air Logistics Park of Singapore.

The vision is to develop Singapore into a leading global integrated logistics hub, with robust maritime, aviation, and land transport capabilities supporting the global economy [1, 2]


Stakeholder groups engaged in logistics matters

As a global warehousing and distribution center Singapore was rated no. 2 in the World Bank’s (2009) International Logistics Performance Index. The port is handling one fifth of the world’s container transhipment throughput.

The region is part of the global supply chains in aerospace MRO, shipbuilding and electronics. That is why the logistics cluster development is one of the strategic priorities for the government organizations, institutions like the Singaporean Port Authority, logistics-intensive industry and science.

Logistics facilitates the configuration of innovative solutions for the global supply chain of the manufacturing and service industries. Vice versa the industry growth stipulates an innovative transport and logistics system. Singapore shows the most rapid growth in terms of generating of local innovations.

The Government has placed the set of grants to encourage the enterprises to invest in local R&D; a $97,95 million Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund was established [3]; the Productivity And Innovation Credit (PIC) provides significant tax deductions or payouts for investments in research & development. There is an initiation to make from Singapore a global maritime knowledge hub by 2025 [4].


Outstanding characteristics of the region

The Port of Singapore is a world-leading container and transhipment port and a core of the cluster. The region has made the best of its strategic position and assured a stable economic growth for Singapore. It has been developed to the leading innovation region under the state governance. The Strategic Research Programs are established in areas where Singapore has a competitive edge and existing strengths. Various governmental programs and schemes were established for the enhancement of maritime capabilities as a regional specialization of Singapore to concentrate on its core competence. An innovation policy is driven by an epistemic community.

The cluster development has been driven by the development of third party logistics service providers. There is a horizontal cooperation between them in the Air Logistics Park of Singapore [5]. The vision is to develop Singapore into a leading global integrated logistics hub, with robust maritime, aviation, and land transport capabilities supporting the global economy. The multimodality, sustainability (e.g. Maritime Singapore Green Initiative) and knowledge orientation are the main features for an innovative & future-oriented logistics cluster.



[1] Singapore in Wikipedia,

[2] Masterplan 2008, URA, Government of Singapore,

[3] Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA),

[4] Ministry of Transport of Singapore,

[5] /data/pages/507/doc/ERC_SVS_LOG_MainReport.pdf