I flew down the Strait of Malacca – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – en route to Bali this afternoon. As we approached Singapore I could see hundred of tankers and container ships lined up waiting to enter the port. From 27,000 ft they looked like goldfish waiting to be fed.
Over 50,000 ships a year pass through the Strait carrying about a quarter of the entire world’s traded goods. The Strait has become so busy in recent years that the maritime authorities are placing limits on the number of ships that can use it because it is getting so jammed – and that gives rise to risks of collisions.
It is interesting to see from this picture how Singapore is still pushing its land area out to the west with massive reclamation projects. That’s Malaysia in the top left, and the channel disappearing towards the top centre is the channel that separates Singapore from Malaysia.